Lifestyle Wellness

    Hawaiian Products I’m loving | Go Native! May Box

    When I was back home in April, my sisters and I ventured out to the Merrie Monarch Arts + Craft Fairs — multi-day fairs of local Hawaiian vendors from across the state that accompany the annual hula festival. There are hundreds of incredible artists at the various fair locations throughout Hilo, and it seems like the entire population of the island turns out to see if their favorite Hawaiian brands have booths, or if the newest upcoming Hawaiian designer has a pop-up where you can get their new designs.

    It can be crowded and intimidating, which definitely usually isn’t my scene. But because I’m so rarely home during the festival, I couldn’t resist and I’m so glad I went — it’s totally worth it to brave the traffic, crush and the Hilo rain to get your hands on some of the best of the best Hawaiian-made arts, crafts, fashions and products.

    My favorite part of the craft fair this year was the fact that I bumped into one amazing vendor in particular that — because I’d gone to high school with her! — I’d been following on Instagram for a while.

    Mamalani | Handmade by Hawaiians

    One of the reasons I’d been dying to try some Mamalani products — which range from deodorants and body powders to oil blends, sunburn sprays, wellness tinctures and more — is because they’re handmade, all natural, and organic. In the past few months (and obviously ever since I found out we’re expecting), I’ve been making a concerted effort to clear out the environmentally harmful, often unhealthy if not downright dangerous, products in my medicine cabinet and self-care regimen, especially those that aren’t cruelty-free. Plus, I love that when I use these products in particular it feels like I’m incorporating a little bit of home into my everyday life here in California.

    So I was beyond excited when Mamalani owner, maker (and fellow Kamehameha Schools alumni) Mele Kalama-Kingma told me that she was offering a monthly health and beauty subscription box she curates not only with her own products, but with amazing products from other Hawaiian makers. Each month’s box features a new theme that highlights a native practice or plant that is essential to overall health, along with a recipe.

    It’s called Go Native! and it’s my new favorite thing.

    Here’s the most recent Go Native! box for May, centering all around ‘olena (tumeric)…

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    Big Things on the Horizon

    My guy and I have been keeping a little secret. But I’m a horrible secret keeper…really can’t keep a surprise under wraps to save my life. So I’m so excited (and relieved) to share our news…

    We’re welcoming a baby boy to our family in October 2017!

    Nate and I are the typical mix of thrilled/terrified beyond belief that I think many first time expectant parents feel. It’s been just us now for so long, but this has always been such a huge dream of ours, and we’ve been getting tons of love and support from our family and friends — they’ve been so amazing and excited right along with us.

    Over the next few months, I thought I’d do a few “bumpdates” to share a little bit about how the remainder of my 2nd trimester, and my whole 3rd trimester goes. So here goes our first bumpdate! Continue reading


    Take Her to the Islands

    If you were to ask me where my favorite place on earth was, I’d give you tons of different answers. County Clare in Ireland. Vancouver, British Columbia. Seattle, Washington. A little house at the mouth of a valley in Abel Tasman National Park, Aotearoa (New Zealand).

    But if you were to ask me which of these places touches me most deeply, which is the one place I could never do without, it would and will always be the Big Island.

    I know I’m home from the second I step off the plane. The air smells different there. The trade winds feel different from all the other winds in the world. My skin has this sense of knowing. I’m home. I’m here. I’m connected again to everything.

    I grew up in a little plantation village about 20 minutes north of Hilo on the wet side of the island. There are less than 600 people in my town, but there’s a beautiful waterfall just a little ways up the mountain. This town isn’t where my Native Hawaiian ancestors are from — our family is traditionally from the Ka’u district farther south — but it’s the place I always return to. Old buildings still standing from the days when the sugar mill was running, now with paint peeling from their sides. The same people sitting on the benches outside of the general store drinking coffee and reading the paper, keeping track of the goings on and sharing the news with familiar faces. My grandmother, who can still recall the names and locations of the plantation camps from when she was young, some of which have been swallowed now by pasture lands and untended cane fields.

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    Lifestyle Travel Wellness

    Hello! I’m so Glad You’re Here

    It finally feels like spring has officially arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area, and with everything so warm and new, let me just say: welcome to my new online home! I’ve written several other blogs over the years past, like many things do, have outgrown those spaces and eventually moved on from them. I’ve been throwing around the idea for this new site for more than a year now (I know, it takes me such a long time to commit to something!), and with the complete 180° that 2017 has shaped up to be from 2016, it just felt that this was the perfect time. So this is where you’ll find me from here on out — sharing the often beautiful, but always real, experiences that keep me chasing dreams, simplicity, and a well-lived life.

    Here’s a taste of what you can count on finding here:

    So much change is coming this year, and it’s only May! And I’m not going to lie, some of these upcoming changes aren’t going to be easy, because that’s life, you know? But that’s what the whole point of this space is — to share everything honestly, even the hard stuff, because we’re all going through things and the best way to connect with someone else and make us all feel not so alone is to share. I will promise to always try to find the beauty in things, even in the breakdown (kuddos if you know the song that’s from!), because that’s life too. Each moment is important — not perfect, but important.

    There would be no telling my story without talking about travel. Ever since I could remember, I’ve been a travel bug, inspired by a deep wanderlust to see the world outside of my own backyard. Some of the most untethering and soul-enriching experiences I’ve had have been finding myself lost in a night market in Hong Kong, or falling in love on a beach in New Zealand, or learning how to drink a proper Guinness in Ireland, or being awestruck by a fjord in Norway. Travel, for me, has always answered questions I didn’t even know I had, and it is one of the great loves of my life.

    We’re all trying to live a well-lived life, amiright? I am obsessed with this idea. As someone who has struggled over the years — and still struggles, to be honest — with caring for my body, mind and spirit as well as I’d like, wellness is something I am deeply committed to immersing myself in, and sharing all the tools I learn along the way. Whether that’s self-care practices, goal setting and meeting, natural products I’m loving, finding that hard-to-strike work/life balance, or simply making time to relax and enjoy being alone or with my loved ones. It’s all fair game, and you’ll hear all about it.

    There’s a part of me my husband says is like a bottomless pit: my lust for the new. I’m always seeking chances to get out and do or see something BIG: bungee jump, sky dive, off-road in the mountains, road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. But adventures come in all sizes — from the everyday backyard adventure of trying a new food truck…to big, adrenaline-fueled adventures like hiking, Wild-style. This site will be a celebration of them all.

    If any of this resonates or sounds at all interesting to you, I hope you pull up a chair and stay for a while! Storytelling — even when it’s of your own life — is never as enriching and empowering as it can be unless it’s in relationship with others. I created this space as a way to share, to build community, and to keep myself moving forward as I build the life I’ve always dreamed of (while remembering to celebrate all the special moments along the way). My hope is that it inspires you to do the same.

    Thanks for coming along with me, and I can’t wait to get to know you!