Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Stand up paddling in Kahala

Stand up paddling in Kahala

Stand up paddling at Pokai Bay

Pokai Bay with Uncle George

     Stand up paddle, also referred to as 'SUP', is a water sport similar to surfing where you stand up on a surfboard and use a paddle to glide and steer through the water. Stand up paddle requires you to use a board that fits your height requirements, so make sure you are purchasing a board that is long enough to keep you stable on the water. Your paddle should also be a specific length; with your paddle upside down, the neck should meet the height of your forehead. 

     Stand up paddle has become a popular outdoor sport in the last couple of years and is continuing to grow. Most people in Hawaii go SUPing instead of running and paddle out to little 'mokes' or islands. I have also seen people doing yoga on stand up paddles, so be sure to look up SUP clubs in your area through Facebook and other social media outlets. 

     The best water to stand up paddle in is calm water with little to no current for easy steering. My favorite spot to stand up paddle is at Pokai Bay in Waianae. I love paddling in the bay with all of the sea turtles and fish and also for the free equipment we are able to use. There is a local man, Uncle George, who gives free SUP lessons and lets you use his equipment for free at Pokai Bay. He gives you all the necessary skills to successfully and safely paddle across the bay and can help you to fine tune your skills if you are not a novice. I highly recommend looking him up and contacting him through his Facebook page. 

Monday, March 30, 2015



Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

  • Spam
  • Jasmine rice
  • Dry seaweed
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Furikake
  • Cook rice in a rice cooker or in a pot on the stove
  • Cut spam into desired slices
  • Marinate spam in ziplock bag with 1/3 cup of teriyaki sauce for 30 minutes
  • Fry spam in a pan with 1/4 cup oil OR bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes
  • Cut seaweed paper in half
  • Place spam on seaweed
  • Scoop desired amount of rice on top of spam
  • Sprinkle furikake on top of rice
  • Compress rice and wrap seaweed around the rice and spam
  • Lightly wet the end of the seaweed to seal the musubi roll

Friday, March 27, 2015


     We have only been in New York for a few days, but we can not get over how cold it is here! We are trying to add some Hawaii color to this dreary wintery looking place by dressing in floral prints and bright colors, but I am not sure if we are making that much of a difference. I honestly never expected New York to be as cold as it is this time of year and boy are we in for a treat, because it is supposed to snow this weekend!

     We snapped these shots at one of our many favorite food spots; Panera Bread. We were jumping with joy when we found out we would be living close enough to a Panera Bread so we could grab a bowl of our favorite Macaroni and cheese and bagels! They sure know how to satisfy my tummy.

What Riley wore:

Sweater- Gap Outlet
Top- Gap outlet
Bottoms- Gap outlet

Thursday, March 26, 2015


     Looking for a completely natural way to cure your acne and get rid of those pimples that are sensitive spots on your face? BUY LAVENDER OIL! I recently tried lavender oil on my skin with a sample from my friend, Alex, who started selling it. I wasn't sold on the idea until she gave me a sample to take home and test. I was mostly focused on getting rid of these small bumps that I had on my forehead that showed up when I found out I was pregnant. Lavender oil works! 

     If you are hesitant to try it on your skin for fear of it not working, buy the lavender oil with intentions of using it for baking. I know it was hard for me to believe that oil could really make a difference, but it does. Give oils a chance to enhance your life and improve your skin.

     Lavender is known to be good for: anxiety, arthritis, asthma, body systems balance, bronchitis, bruises, cold sores, earaches, fainting, gallstones, headaches, high blood pressure, hives, insect bites, mouth abscess, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, sprains, sunstroke, whooping cough, typhoid fever, and more. 

     I will say that the oils have a more earthy smell since the herbs are in their natural state, so if you are sensitive to smells, these shouldn't have a nauseating effect on you. I usually get nauseous from perfumes and aromas, but surprisingly the oils don't seem to bother me. I find myself applying oils multiple times a day for aromatic purposes, because I enjoy the scent.

     Please contact Alex to learn more about the oils from Doterra. You can see how she uses her oils here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


     On one of our last days in Hawaii, we went on our favorite hike; The Pillboxes. The Pillbox trail is located in Lanikai, Hawaii. This trail is a shorter distance and has great views of the beach. Facing the ocean, you will see the twin islands, which locals refer to as the 'mokes'. A lot of people kayak and take stand up paddles to the islands for a little adventure. Some of our friends have spotted sharks on their paddle over there, but none of our friends have ever been bothered by them. 

     I was a little nervous about going on some parts of the hike because of all the rocks and steep slippery parts, but I managed to come out a champ. I was surprised at how easy of a hike it was for me at 33 weeks pregnant.  I definitely recommend doing this hike if you are pregnant and want to get some exercise.

     My husband was able to take our daughter up to the pillboxes by wearing the ergobaby carrier. It made it so easy to take her with us. The ergobaby carrier is a staple item in our home, because it makes a lot of activities available for us to participate in. We can both be hands free and still have our daughter with us. We are considering buying another carrier for when our son comes, so we can still get out of the house and stay active. Our ergobaby carrier has made life with our baby more enjoyable and we find it to be very comfortable. The padding on the shoulders are thick and lightweight and the placement of the waist band sits in the perfect spot for being mobile. If you don't have one already, you should buy one!

Monday, March 23, 2015


*Follow me on Instagram*

     I wasn't expecting to be writing about my biracial marriage so soon, but after our trip from Hawaii to New York, I was compelled to share. My husband and I have been married for almost three years and share one child together. I will tell you that people always ask us how we met and how many years we have been married right off the bat. A lot of people assume I got 'knocked-up' outside of marriage, which led us to walk down the aisle, but that just isn't our story. People tend to project a lot of the stereotypes of white women being with a black man on to me; the assumption that white girls who are with black men are 'easy' or 'loose', uneducated, lazy, a gold digger, a 'black ball' (something is seriously wrong with me), or that I couldn't find a white guy. These assumptions are just to name a few stereotypes that I have had painted on me. 

     It really is kind of funny to see how people love or hate us; people either tend to try really hard to prove to Ben and I they aren't racist/prejudice by over trying, or they hate us and give us the most disgusted looks you could possibly imagine. I am still surprised at the amount of people that display contempt toward us and have no shame in letting us know with their facial expressions that they do not approve of our 'lifestyle'. 

     I think you have to have pretty thick skin and a loving heart to be in a biracial relationship, because you will constantly be judged by other people you don't know. People are conditioned at a young age to do things that are socially acceptable in their culture; they are to follow certain guidelines that their families give them. One of these guidelines is to never date a person outside of your race. If you are white, you can be friends with a black person, but you can never be in a relationship with them, let alone marry them. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where my parents were accepting and open to me being with a man from another race. My dad is the one person who actually encouraged me to pursue Ben. My mother always asked me how he was doing over the years and if I liked him, but I wasn't 100% sold on the idea until I felt supported by my parents. We tend to 'people-please' unconsciously and it's something I don't think will ever change. 

     During our recent travel, Ben and I experienced both of the above statements; that people love or hate us.  I think a lot of people are curious as to how biracial couples get together and most assume the stereotypes that I listed because they just don't know how else it could happen. 

    Per usual, we were asked many questions by the people that 'love us' and wanted to know more about us; They wanted to know how we met. The people who hate us, greeted us with disgusted facial expressions. Unfortunately, the people who were disgusted with us are imprinted on my memory; their faces will eventually fade after time passes, but it is hard to forget when it first happens. I try not to take it personally when people disapprove of our relationship, but the truth is that is still hurts me to see how people can dislike something so much without ever giving us (biracial couples) a chance. 

     After almost three years of marriage, Ben and I have learned to laugh it off or not discuss it all together. We go through it so much that it has become the norm for us; it seems trivial to bring it up. I fell in love with my husband for the man he is not for what he is. Yes, it does help that he is educated and handsome, but isn't that what we look for in a spouse? I was looking for a man I could relate to and someone that could take care of me and make me feel safe. I wanted a man who was strong in his faith and respected his family. I found all of this in Ben and that is why I married him. His skin color happens to be darker than mine, but my love for him is based on his character. So yes, I love a man that is black and his black skin has become a part of me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


     Finding shoes for our daughter used to be a struggle until we started buying Converse. We didn't want to spend more than $30 on a pair of shoes for her and even then it was hard for us to swallow. Kids grow out of shoes so fast and they end up getting so dirty here in Hawaii from the red dirt. I used to get upset when I would see all of Riley's shoes stained with red dirt, but now it doesn't bother me as much because converse are only $20 for infants! I love being able to go to the store and only hand over a $20 bill to the cashier. It feels so good to be able to find a cute pair of shoes that don't cost as much as my shoes. 

     We bought her first pair when she was just under one and had to throw them out because she recently outgrew them. I cannot believe how fast she is growing up. It makes me a little sad to see her change so much, but I am thankful for the opportunity to be her mom and help her mature in to the little sassy toddler that she is. She has so much energy and curiosity for the world. Much more than I feel like I ever had. 

     Pictured above is our family pet, Daisy, a Yorkshire terrier. Both Riley and Daisy are the best of friends and spend most afternoons running around the house and getting into trouble together. Daisy is Riley's 'partner in crime' and follows her wherever she goes. Our little pup puts up with a lot from our 18 month old and for that we are grateful! 

Outfit details:

Top- Gap kids
Bottoms- OshKosh
Wrap- Etsy
Shoes- Converse store

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


     Sunday was a special day for our family; we dedicated our daughter to the Lord. In doing this, we gave the Lord complete control of her life. In our faith, we believe in letting go of everything and letting God take the reigns so we can have the best life possible. In John 10:10 it says "The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I come to bring life to the fullest". We dedicated Riley to the Lord so we could have support through prayer for her walk with Christ. It is also an outward proclamation that we want to raise our child up in a loving faith-filled home. Our church family prayed that Riley stays close to the Lord and that we as a family can support and raise her in a loving, God fearing way.

     We brought all of our friends up on stage to celebrate this special time with us and to support us in our decision to raise Riley in having a close relationship with the Lord. Our parents and siblings were able to see Riley get dedicated through live streaming online, which was such a blessing!

What I wore:

Friday, March 13, 2015


Mommy & Daughter Bangles

Children's Names on Bangles

Baby & Toddler Bangles

     Jewelry is a way for a woman to express her own unique style and adds flare to any outfit. In Hawaii, bangles are currently the most sought after piece of jewelry. These handcrafted bangles are made locally with shells, sea glass, and pearls found on the beach.

     A dear friend recently gifted me the bangles with Riley and Matthew’s name stamped on them and I haven’t taken them off since. The thing I love most about the bangles is that you can have them personalized with name stamping or adding charms like a heart, infinity sign, shells, and sea glass.

      Purchase your own bangle and have a piece of Hawaii with you every day! Contact Kanoe Bartels for your bangle today. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015


     Surprise! I got my Kate Spade tote the other day, but it isn’t the same one I was eyeing at T.J.Maxx. This is a completely different bag, but it is way bigger and brighter than the poppy one I thought I wanted. Sometimes a girl changes her mind and falls in love with another item or product. Can I get an amen? I love my new Kate Spade bag and the best part is I got it for half the price; It feels so good when I score such savings! I ended up going to the Kate Spade outlet to see if I could find a better deal than the bag I wanted from T.J.Maxx and I did. I saved a difference of $30 from going to the outlet instead of purchasing the one at T.J.Maxx. Sometimes discounted stores aren’t cheaper than the store itself. I always check outlets and factory stores before making a purchase to see if I can get a better deal. 

     All of these pictures were taken at Sharks Cove, a beach, located on the North Shore. My husband and I have been working hard to get packed out of our home, so we took the afternoon to get together with some friends to relax and recover. It was such a beautiful cloudy day and it felt so nice to sit on the sand and breathe in fresh air, instead of sitting on a couch in a living room watching the television. 

What I wore: