Friday’s Favs

Recap of tropical paradise week has come to a close. Sadly the vacation is over now, I thought I could prolong it with posting all of my pictures this week but it’s ‘back to life, back to reality’ now. Hopefully another tropical vacation is in my future, if not it’s starting to get real tropical (and by tropical I mean 70 degrees in San Francisco) here and we are ready for summer!

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 1.50.01 PM

{exotic flower that kind of looks like a pineapple}

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 1.50.27 PM

{delicious and nutritious drink at our Hawaiian brunch – ahi tuna benedict, not pictured}

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 1.51.30 PM

{awesome pools in the cliffs called Queen’s Bath}

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 1.47.38 PM

{I was obsessed with these wooden billed baseball caps, this pineapple pattern is amazing}

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 1.52.10 PM

{hope you all have a dreamy weekend!}

Na Pali Coast

On our last full day on the island, we kind of chartered our own boat, for a private tour of the coast (yeah we fancy, sometimes) and some snorkeling.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.18.18 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.17.56 PM

The Na Pali (meaning high cliffs) Coast is the famous for its untouched beauty and ridiculous hike along the cliffs and through the valley. No cars are allowed on this side of the island, just feet and tents (and boats, oh my).

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.17.16 PM

Many movies, including Jurassic Park (try getting the theme song out of your head now), South Pacific, 7 Days and 7 Nights , to name a few, were filmed on the beaches we passed by and in the giant valley that we looked down on during our Waimea Canyon hike (this is what we were trying to see through the clouds).

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.18.41 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.18.50 PM

The biggest perk of having our own boat (besides the fact that my family doesn’t seem to like other people) was that it was small enough to go in and out of the caves and close enough to see birds sitting on the cliffs.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.18.58 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.19.31 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.19.41 PM

The other big private boat tour perk was that we had the Kauai native Captain Nick all to ourselves for questions and we were all able to hear his stories and facts about the island.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.19.58 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.19.10 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.20.07 PM

My favorite story was that Puff the Magic Dragon was born here, or the story originated here. There is a long formation of mountain down to the beach that (if you look just right) looks like a dragon and when the large winter waves crash on his snout it looks like steam coming from his nose. This story was born in the 60’s, and who knew what kind of puffing they were doing…

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.20.21 PM

Captain Nick said one of his friends got married in the center of this open cave. The rock in the middle (what used to be the roof of the cave) is where the couple stood and the guests were in the water on small boats around them – talk about a memorable wedding.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.18.25 PM
A boat tour is a must in Kauai, there is so much that you can’t see or get to by car. The views are too good to pass up, and Captain Nick’s stories make it worth your while.

Kauaiian Adventures

In between beaching everyday and eating plate lunch and seafood for dinner every night, we worked in a couple of adventures along the way. Nothing says vacation like waking up to fresh pineapple and lazily packing for the beach, the only things in your bag are a good book and some sunscreen.

2014-06-14 03.30.54

2014-06-15 09.22.57

We tried out a new beach each day and in driving to them we found some great local spots. I would definitely recommend Tunnels beach (called so because in the winter the waves make perfect tunnels) for snorkeling and wave jumping.

2014-06-16 09.38.42

2014-06-18 22.13.32

2014-06-14 06.59.02

2014-06-14 06.56.40

We drove by the Coconut Experience everyday and had to stop, because with a name like that how could we resist? This shack was open only in the afternoons (talk about island life) and served an abundance of freshly picked and chilled tropical fruits.

2014-06-14 07.03.21

2014-06-14 06.56.33

2014-06-14 06.54.59

I regrettably didn’t take that many pictures of food but this sums up most of the meals we consumed – fresh fish in some form or another with rice or macaroni salad, with sushi being our go-to snack.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.55.02 AM

Dessert was shaved ice (almost everyday) – NOT to be confused with snow cones (which I did, woops). Shaved ice is the much better, smoother, tastier cousin to the snow cone and in Hawaiian fashion they put ice cream in the bottom of the cone. After eating the tropical flavored ice (I stuck with my pineapple, coconut, mango mix each time) the remnants of the flavored syrup seep into the vanilla ice cream creating a creamsicle effect that is amazing and unbelievably refreshing.

2014-06-16 10.07.59

2014-06-16 10.05.49

2014-06-16 10.14.32

2014-06-16 10.14.42

In traversing the island (searching for hidden beaches and obscure lunch spots) we encountered beautiful vegetation and wildlife.

2014-06-16 09.35.02

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.54.33 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.54.06 AM

2014-06-18 22.13.52

Chickens roam all of the islands and are literally everywhere; in the parking lot at the airport, on your back porch at night – everywhere. These guys wanted to come home with me, but my love for fried chicken changed their minds.

2014-06-16 03.12.01

2014-06-16 03.12.51

My first trip to Hawaii was when I was seven and we went to the cheesiest luau ever (seriously, my family still talks about it) but I loved it, and I still love them – no matter the level of cheese. I love the dancing and the roasting pig in a pit and the beautiful hula outfits. And everyone likes a good party, and a really punny blog post title, right?

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 10.37.19 AM

2014-06-15 10.21.42

2014-06-15 10.23.11

Aloha and happy hump day friends!

Waimea Canyon

Happy Memorial Day and Hawaii Week here on the blog! I hope you all are enjoying your long weekend and getting ready for summer! We are back from da islands man and thank goodness for this extra day off, it helps to ease back into the real world (you mean, I can’t sleep in and go to the beach everyday anymore – rough).

2014-06-16 02.59.33

In preparation for summer, I’m going to post about Hawaii this week, to get you all excited for the warmer months and all the luaus you have planned! Kauai is beautiful, being one of the rainiest places on earth it’s very lush and tropical. To enjoy this rainforest-like ecosystem we decided to hike Waimea Canyon.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.44.17 AM

Also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific this sight was a jaw dropper. We drove up the windy roads to the lookouts at the top of the canyon and it was so perfect and gorgeous it looked almost looked fake (like those backgrounds at Disney World of different places in the US).

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.44.49 AM

I loved the contrast of red and green, almost in perfect stripes with the sun shining on certain spots and creating shadows across the valley.

2014-06-16 03.52.54

2014-06-16 03.57.46

2014-06-16 03.58.36

2014-06-16 04.10.23

Continuing past the lookouts, we drove a little further up to a hike that would take us through the world’s highest swamp (not the most appealing sounding, but we did it anyway).

2014-06-16 03.41.58

2014-06-16 03.42.08

2014-06-16 03.46.54

The flowers and foliage were so unique, huge green leaves next to mossy pine-like trees.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.45.25 AM

And every once in a while we would be able to peek down from the clouds and see the canyon again. If you are visiting Kauai I think Waimea Canyon is a must see. Even if you are staying on the north side (like we were) it’s worth the drive and making a day out of it – you won’t regret it.

Friday’s Favs – Hawaiian Edition

We made it to paradise! It’s the best feeling to have nothing to do. If all I do today is write this blog post I am a winner. We have been beaching it up hard this week, unplugging and forgetting what day it is – so forgive me if this post is short. My writing abilities have left. Have a great weekend friends and ALOOOHA!!!

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.46.17 AM

{welcomed with complimentary mai tais on the plane}

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.50.22 AM

{and gorgeous sunsets}

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.45.07 AM

{my favorite Hawaiian food – monapua}

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.51.07 AM

{like I said, beaching it hard}

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.51.50 AM
{fire dancers at the luau}

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.43.54 AM

The List

As I hinted at last week we are leaving for Hawaii today!!! We are going to Kauai with my family for a whole week and I cannot contain my excitement! As you guys know I am a little obsessive about my organizing and planning so I made a packing list to ensure nothing would be left behind!

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 5.09.56 PM

I always like to list how many of each item I should bring, I am the queen of overpacking, so I need some guidelines. We are going to be there for eight days (and eight crazy nights) and if I didn’t make this list I would have brought eight pairs of shorts, eight tops and eight dresses (not to mention a pair of shoes for each outfit and jewelry too boot). Making a list saves me, what kind of essentials do you need on your trips?

The Weekender – Scribe Winery Edition

Happy Mother’s Day to all (yesterday)! To celebrate our mothers (and us not being mothers yet) my friend and I went to the Scribe Winery pick up party. I didn’t know these were a thing so I will explain them if you don’t know either. Scribe sends wine to their wine club members twice a year and you can either have it sent to your house or pick it up at the winery, at one of their pickup parties (the latter is way more exciting).

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.17.13 AM

The party was gorgeous. The scenery set the stage, the sun was shining and the wine was flowing (all great things). It was kind of like a picnic party, people brought blankets and their little kidlings and their puppies and all hung out on the lawn of the winery.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.12.30 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.07.30 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.12.02 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.14.15 AM

Scribe gave us a complimentary glass of wine and some eats to help us picnic. They also make sure you stay hydrated because you can buy as many bottles to drink as you want…

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.14.37 AM

We ordered their Pinot – which is perfection and absolutely worth the price tag and enjoyed it on our blanket in the sun.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.15.35 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.15.07 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.17.47 AM

It was a great way to spend a Sunday, at a picnic with your friends in the sun with wine – can’t get much better than that. Happy Monday!

Friday’s Favs

Positiveness is radiating from my person today! This week has been very productive and upbeat. Not sure if its because I’m going on vacation next week or what but it’s been a great week! As for this weekend, I am continuing on the productive train and taking a class. I am going to learn about social media and marketing (mostly to help with this little bloggie) and then I’m going to start packing! What are your weekend plans, anything exciting in the works?

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 1.52.05 PM

{pineapple margaritas went perfectly with this key lime tart for Cinco de Mayo}

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 1.51.15 PM

{cool type of map on a bus stop downtown}

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 1.54.24 PM

{my brain is switching to vacation mode, can’t wait to be doing this}

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 1.54.41 PM

{absolutely need this right now}

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 1.52.50 PM

{cheers to Friday friends!}

A Touch of Spring

I am one of those people that decorates for every holiday. I had it growing up and now I do it in my own apartment (pretend grown up remember). I obviously love holidays – and any excuse to celebrate (read: Cinco De Mayo), but when it comes to spring, the holidays are limited. After the Easter eggs and bunnies go away what is there to decorate with until the 4th?

IMG_5956

IMG_5960

Flowers – the answer is always going to be flowers for springtime. They are colorful and add the perfect amount of decoration without being holiday specific, because lets face it – they are going to be out until the 4th.

IMG_5984

I saw some versions of this floral garland on Pinterest so I decided to take a stab at it. I used a mix of dried and silk roses and the combo actually worked out really well. All you need is flowers (fresh, silk or dried), twine/hemp string, hot glue  and scissors.

IMG_5977

IMG_5979

IMG_5981

IMG_5984

IMG_5973

The process was simple and very customizable. You can use fresh or fake flowers, you can use little objects instead of flowers for different holidays – it’s totally up to you!

IMG_5988

I love the finished product, its adds some seasonal decoration that isn’t over the top and it’ll hold me over until July’s festivities. What are you favorite holidays to decorate for?

Cinco de Mayo

I love that Cinco de Mayo is a real holiday in the US. Well maybe not real, but that people are all about celebrating it. Bars and restaurants have special menus and drinks, people bring in Mexican themed snacks to work, I’ve saw someone wearing a sombrero today – the fifth of May has such a celebratory spirit. In honor of that spirit, I made some Latin inspired treats for tonight!

IMG_5904

Margaritas are festive in nature, they are perfect for warm summer nights and celebratory brunches. I love them on the rocks and blended, with strawberries or straight lime agave. I have never had them with pineapple though, and boy have I been missing out.

IMG_5812

IMG_5804

I used this recipe and the proportions are perfect. Not too limey with a great punch of pineapple flavor. Tequila adds the kick and you have a pretty perfect drink on your hands.

IMG_5819

IMG_5838

IMG_5840

IMG_5851

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 2.47.12 PM

I also made a mini snack – not intended to be mini but I only had a small star shaped piping tip so they turned miniature.

IMG_5951

Churros are surprisingly easy to make, they just take a very close eye when frying. This recipe made it really simple, but watch the temperature of your oil so they don’t burn or smoke up your kitchen (I might be speaking from experience experience).

IMG_5908

IMG_5912

IMG_5919

IMG_5930The dough came out light and fluffy and the sugary cinnamony (should be a word) coating made them taste just like they do at the country fair.

IMG_5939

Festive drinks and snacks are muy bueno! Happy Cinco de Mayo Amigos! Do you guys have any special fiesta plans?