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Lakshmi Lullabies by Noelani Love

I was so excited when I heard that Noelani was making an ukulele album of sacred songs, because I am always looking for great new yoga music, and this sounded perfect.

Noelani writes, “We’re bridging the gap between ancient mantras and sweet modern music.  These powerful sound-healing songs are the medicine that the world needs right now… My songwriting combines ukulele melodies with traditional chants from the languages of Sanskrit, Hawaiian, the Kundalini lineage, and more.”

I participated in her Indiegogo campaign, which meant I also received an adorable “unicorn tear” necklace from Noelani’s jewelry brand (she is a musician, yoga teacher, doula and jeweler).

The album is out, and I’m loving listening so far! You can get your own copy for under $15 here.

Book Review: It’s Snowing in Hawaii

Even though Christmas is over, I still wanted to share with you this adorable book I brought to the mainland as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend Kiyo’s baby nephew: It’s Snowing in Hawaii, by Mike Guardia.

This book is the cutest omiyage (slang for a gift or souvenir) to bring to any kiddos you know on the mainland (as we did). But it’s also a great addition to any Hawaii kid’s bookshelf. Not only is it a fun and funny idea to imagine what it would be like if landmarks like Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor saw snow, it’s a great way to start a conversation with little ones about seasons, winter, and the environment. Plus, it’s nice to see a book about the islands. I’m sure there are more that I’m unaware of, but it’s not super often that I hear about locally-written books with local settings.

With large print, rhyming verses and colorful, detailed illustrations, this book is perfect for all ages; I’d venture birth (start them early!) through age 10. Do you have any favorite kids’ books about Hawaii?

What I Ate Wednesday #5

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I haven’t done a WIAW in awhile; please comment or send me a message if you like these food posts so I can keep bringing them to you! This is all vegetarian:

WIAW Honolulu cereal

I LOVE this breakfast I came up with: Annie’s chocolate cereal, with almond milk, topped with cacao nibs and a sliced banana. It’s basically [healthy-ish] dessert for breakfast; you’re welcome.

WIAW Honolulu la tour cafe

In between work and errands, I picked up lunch from La Tour Cafe in Aina Haina: avocado toast! It came with a side salad and a very tasty, creamy dressing.

WIAW Honolulu

I stopped home in the afternoon before my evening job and had some coffee and half of a Bouchon Bakery cookie (made by me, from a box mix). It’s kind of like a homemade oreo. I have to say, I wasn’t really a fan (but I still ate the second half later, after dinner, because in any battle against sugar, I am the loser).

WIAW Honolulu healthy bowl dinner

My homemade dinner was healthy and delectable: quinoa mixed with red onion, kale, parmesan cheese and capers, topped with roasted acorn squash and a soft-boiled egg. So good!

What did you eat today?


Happy Halloween!

halloween monster wall yoga

Oh hey guys! Happy Halloween!

halloween monster wall yoga

These are photos from a cool wall in Kaka’ako (in Honolulu, Hawaii). We took these for Yogaloha (remember, today is the last day to buy a class ticket for a big Halloween discount! Buy here). I’ll be at the studio tonight; we are open for classes at 5:30 & 7 pm.

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You might remember this wall from my recent vlog (if not, watch that here).

halloween monster wall yoga

Boutique: Ginger13 Hawaii

This month, while my friend Zan and I were stumbling around downtown Honolulu, we discovered what immediately became my favorite store: Ginger13. I loved it so much, that I brought my other friend Danelle back this weekend. I had to make a short video so that you could see the glory for yourself:

This little boutique is everything I want my home and personal space to be: bright (natural light); full of plants, crystals, and art; well-stocked with natural candles and beauty products; gorgeous stone and gem jewelry strewn all over. **SWOOOOOON**

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The owner is super sweet, and makes all the unique, incredible jewelry herself. She has such a good eye and her attention to detail shines. The displays themselves are all quirky/beautiful and thoughtfully composed.

ginger13 honolulu store jewelry

I know I’ll be back for First Friday (November 4; there will be henna art happening!) and if I can swing it, Black Friday, because I NEED ALL THE THINGS!!! (Especially these two earrings below that I am totally smitten by.)

ginger13 honolulu store jewelry


What is it Really Like to be a Yoga Teacher in Hawaii?

I hope you guys enjoy my first real vlog! (For those who don’t know: a vlog is a blog in which the postings are primarily in video form.) This was a combination of WIAW (What I Ate) for you foodie readers, but also shows what I might do in a typical work day.

What is it really like to be a yoga teacher in Hawaii?

Pros:

  1. The weather is generally very nice year-round
  2. There are so many yoga students (locals and tourists) so lots of opportunity here as a yoga teacher
  3. Making your own schedule
  4. Not stuck sitting at a desk in a depressing office!
  5. Setting your own price (for privates; usually there isn’t much if any room for negotiation at studio gigs)
  6. Sometimes getting paid cash under the table
  7. You can work as much or as little as you’d like (and take time off whenever)
  8. New people, places and experiences are plentiful and quite common

Cons:

  1. It’s exhausting (while teaching, you’re constantly running around, doing demonstrations, talking, listening, making sure people don’t hurt themselves)
  2. You have to self-promote tirelessly
  3. Often your income is unpredictable
  4. You don’t get PTO (so every time you don’t work, you’re losing money)
  5. The weather is always hot & humid in Hawaii (for some that’s a pro, for some that’s a con) – you are always sweaty!
  6. You are your own mini-company (you’re an independent contractor so you’re like the CEO, CFO, head of PR & Marketing, accountant, etc… you play every role for your business of yoga teacher)
  7. You’re in charge of paying your own taxes and making sure you calculate correctly and don’t miss deadlines
  8. The pay is pretty low (and you only get paid for the actual teaching time, not the preparation)

What do you think?


Vegetarian Month at Hard Rock Cafe {Honolulu, HI}

vegetarian month at hard rock cafe

Today I had a lovely vegetarian lunch with my friend at Hard Rock Cafe in Waikiki. We started with some delicious carrot juice and a couple appetizers (not pictured here, but you can see them in the video below). One was a crispy flatbread topped with garlic oil, grilled ratatouille vegetables, shredded Romano and mozzarella cheeses and a drizzle of garlic aioli. YUMMM

vegetarian month at hard rock cafe

OMG this house-made patty of cauliflower, garlic, egg, goat cheese, oregano and breadcrumbs, topped with zucchini, squash, Monterey Jack cheese, arugula, tomato and garlic aioli, served on a toasted brioche bun was DELICIOUS. I made a mess eating it, but it was worth it.

vegetarian month at hard rock cafe

I so appreciate it when restaurants (and especially big companies), acknowledge and embrace their vegetarian customers! See the whole Waikiki location’s menu here and enjoy this quick video of our lunch:


Fabletics Store {Waikiki}

the new international marketplace shopping center waikiki

Recently I posted that International Marketplace was reopening.

the new international marketplace shopping center waikiki

My boyfriend Kiyo and I decided to go check it out the weekend it opened. Although I was sad at first that the old Marketplace was being torn down, I am totally impressed by how nice the new one is. They did a really good job and made the space seem huge.

the new international marketplace shopping center waikiki

There’s a large, central, open-aired space and when we went, there was live music. It was swelteringly hot!

Fabletics store waikiki grand opening

I was very excited to get inside and check out the grand-opening party at Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s workout clothing brand. Not only did they pass out glasses of champagne, but they had a DJ who happened to consistently choose my favorite Top 40 songs!

Fabletics store waikiki

I actually wore my one piece of Fabletics apparel to the opening; I’ve had this long-sleeved top for two years and it still gets me compliments.

Fabletics store waikiki

I took lots of dressing room pictures so I could share my favorite finds. Note how spacious the room is and that the light is actually flattering (thank goodness).

Fabletics store waikiki

This fun white dress was one of my favorite finds!

Fabletics store waikiki

Even though it’s technically an exercise clothing brand, Fabletics has so many cute “athleisure” items, like this.

Fabletics store waikiki

I must have been in the mood for white that day, because I also adored this dress, which had a hood.

Fabletics store waikiki

I ended up buying this!

Fabletics store waikiki

This adorable backpack was a close contender, but I ended up choosing a slightly bigger, more practical backpack (since I’ll be going back to school this Spring, I wanted something that would fit lots of books).

Fabletics store waikiki

Onto the workout items: here was a great teal sports bra that’s almost a tank top.

Fabletics store waikiki

Likewise, I think this bra would be more aptly called a crop top.

Fabletics store waikiki

I really loved this! It would be especially perfect paired with some baggy pants a la 90’s girl band, or with harem pants.

Fabletics store waikiki

The best part about the new Fabletics store is that members can come in to choose their monthly outfit in person! I love this, as someone who doesn’t like to shop for clothes online (even if there is free shipping for returns, I just can’t be bothered). If you’re confused: Fabletics provides a program that allows it’s members to receive discounts (always) as well as a discounted outfit per month. Definitely check them out, in person, or online, or both!

Fabletics Waikiki

Address: 2330 Kalakaua Ave, Space 240, Honolulu, HI 96815

Phone: (808) 445-9319

Open 7 days a week, 10 am – 11 pm


Mahina & Suns {Honolulu}

mahina & sons waikiki restaurant review

Mahina & Suns is a trendy new restaurant in Waikiki, aptly located within the equally trendy and new boutique hotel Surfjack (“Hotel & Swimclub”). The restaurant is by local celebrity chef Ed Kenney, who is renowned for focusing on local, organic ingredients, and reinventing classic dishes of Hawaii (many of which tend to be cultural mashups).

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My boyfriend Kiyo and I took my mom to this restaurant per her request, for her birthday. She enjoyed a gin cocktail with her birthday card.

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I can’t remember what else was in my drink, besides cucumber, but it was light and refreshing, and I liked it a lot.

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Instead of bread (an uncommon free starter snack in Hawaii) we were served salted boiled peanuts. This is a classic Hawaii snack, and a very delicious and addictive rendition. We ate all of these, and I even ate the pickled jalapeño.

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We started by sharing “The Naked Cow,” thin crust pizza with Naked Cow Dairy fromage blanc, uncured bacon, and Maui onion (you can add more toppings; we chose green olives, parmesan and arugula. Take note because this is a stellar combination).

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We all really enjoyed the pizza. There aren’t many good pizza options in Hawaii, as I’ve mentioned on the blog before.

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Kiyo ordered chicken; an usual choice for him. He enjoyed the pan-roasted half-bird, served with hapa rice (white and brown mashup), pickled mushrooms and green coriander chutney.

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My mom ordered the avocado tacos, made with shishito, pickled red onion, and smoked yogurt. I felt that it should have said on the menu that the avocados come fried (I’m guessing my mom wouldn’t have ordered them if she’d known, but she didn’t complain).

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I ordered a starter for my main dish: the butter lettuce salad. It didn’t look like much, but it tasted more complete and interesting than it looked. radish, asparagus, sunflower seed, cured egg yolk, topped with avocado dressing.

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After dinner, we walked around the hotel. It’s very cute! I felt like I was in California, at a Hawaii-themed hotel, rather than actually in Hawaii. There aren’t many trendy places here that actually hit their mark.

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I went back recently for lunch, and very much enjoyed the Wild Salad (although it was just slightly overdressed) topped with garlicky tomato toast, and a fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

mahina & suns salad

Mahina & Suns

412 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 924-5810

The Beet Box Cafe {Haleiwa}

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The Beet Box Cafe used to be a small counter where you could order food in the back of a health-food store, on the North Shore of Oahu (in the small, touristy town there called Haleiwa).

beet box cafe haleiwa

I ordered an iced tea for while we waited for our food (you order at the counter, but they bring the food to you at the table. You then have to bring your dishes to a bin, but sometimes they come get the dirty dishes for you. It’s pretty confusing). I love that they added frozen blueberries in with the ice; by the time I finished the beverage, the plump blueberries had absorbed some of the tea, and tasted even better than regular blueberries.

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I hold a special place in my heart for restaurants that serve breakfast all day. The breakfast options here are so good that even Kiyo ordered off the breakfast menu (and he never does!). He got the Mexicali Blues: eggs scrambled with a crunchy, toasted, sprouted-corn tortilla and jalapeño jack cheese topped with homemade salsa, avocado, and sunflower sprouts, and served with brown rice and Brazilian black beans. He opted to add soyrizo (vegetarian chorizo).

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On the recommendation of a friend, I ordered the Zen, a scramble (choice of tofu or egg) of broccoli, onion, carrots and zucchini “seasoned with curry and love,” served with a scoop of brown rice and black beans and topped with avocado and sunflower sprouts. I LOVED this; it’s the kind of plate of food that I will think about and start to crave. I would definitely brave the traffic of Haleiwa to get to this again.

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Although it was a little pricey (more than $12 per plate) we were both very impressed and satisfied with our meal. We each finished our plate of goodness, and felt very full, but managed to avoid the food coma that comes from overeating food that isn’t nutritious.

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We had to save our cinnamon sugar [vegan] donut for later, since we were so full. I wouldn’t choose to eat this again; it was much too moist to be a donut. There wasn’t anything terrible or disgusting about it, but if I’m going to treat myself to dessert, I want something that’s worth the sugar and calories.

The Beet Box Cafe

66-437 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

(808) 637-3000