Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hawaii 2014 Recap

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Each and every year I look forward to our annual family vacation, but this year we mixed it up a bit, which resulted in my favorite trip yet! Here are a few fun things we added to our itinerary (make sure to check them out if you ever are in Maui!):

  • Restaurants
    • We had a slightly larger group this year, and going during spring break can be a bit of a struggle to schedule reservation-wise, but here is what we did (tip: make reservations as soon as possible – as in months in advance, you can always cancel)
      • Sansei Sushi – I advise 7pm reservations – there isn’t a view from this resaturat, so feel free to head to the Ritz next door for cocktails and the sunset, then enjoy the best sushi on the island (Must Haves: Mango Crab Hand Roll, Panko Ahi Roll, Sansei Special Roll)
      • Honu – This on-the-water restaurant is one of my favorites.  It is worth leaving the beach early to score a 5:30pm reservation because the sunset view can’t be beat (must haves: Skinny Chi cocktail, burrata appetizer, oysters, kale salad and macarons)
      • Mala – Honu’s sister restaurant, Mala is another one of our favorites.  Another spot where the early bird gets the worm, the view is gorgeous and food is amazing (must haves: ahi bruschetta, mahi mahi ceviche and Mai Tai cocktail)
      • Cool Cats or Cheeseburger in Paradise – both of these spots have great burgers and are great spots for a relaxed dinner after a day in the sun.  Cheeseburger in Paradise has a great water front location and Cool Cats has great live music every night… both have amazing burgers.
      • Star Noodle – This delicious noodle house is owned by a top competitor on Top Chef.  It doesn’t have an amazing location so I recommend a 7pm or later reservation – you won’t be catching any sunsets from there, but don’t let that deter you for stopping by – the food and decor are great (must haves: garlic noodles, ahi avo, pad thai and pork belly bacon and eggs.
      • Leoda’s – The same chef heads Leoda’s kitchen, and this place is so good my family went twice in ONE DAY. It’s super chill, and a great spot for grabbing breakfast or dinner when you need a night to chill.  You can BYOB with no corkage fee which is great too! I highly recommend picking up some goodies for your flight back home – they even have a airline lunch pack available (must haves: fried salad – I’M OBSESSED, breakfast sandwich, and any of their pies).

 

  • Sail and Snorkel Day 
    • Each and every year we look forward to setting sail on the Hula Girl.  The food, service and boat are all next level, and the few extra bucks you’ll pay (compared to the Teralani, Trilogy, Gemini, etc.) are well worth it (in my opinion).
    • This trip we were a hundred yards away from breaching mom AND baby whales.  It was crazy.
    • Also, make sure to get the fresh fish special for lunch, although I hear the pulled pork is great for all of you meat eaters.
  • Paia Day
    • Hiked Twin Falls at the entrance of Hana
    • Check out the surfers at Kuau Cove or go for a walk on the beach
    • Grab lunch in town at Paia Fish Market
      • We highly recommend the fish tacos or Mahi Mahi burger
      • GET there early (they open at 11am) and there is always a line
    • Head into Rock & Brews for a pre-beach Pina Colada (BEST of the trip!)
    • Enjoy some shopping in town (Letarte Swimwear and Tamara Catz Boutique are great stops)
    • Pack a towel and make your way down to the beach for a couple hours (a little windy, but some great surf – bring a boogie board!)
    • Cool off at Tobi’s Shaved Ice
      • MUST order their Poke there.  We had the Sriracha topped one… WOW.
      • Obviously don’t forget the snow cones… and make sure to get it with the macadamia nut ice cream!
    • Grab a drinking coconut for the drive home at the Maui Coconut Station on Honoapiilani Hwy

Overall it was a VERY memorable week with all of my favorite people. It’s so nice to have a trip that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to go… sad to leave the Aloha state, but happy to be back!

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Paloma

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To kick off a festive mood of fun in the sun – there is no better mix than lime juice and tequila.  And while I don’t believe it’s possible to get “sick of” (“sick on” maybe) margaritas, it is always nice to mix it up.

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Fresh Paloma

  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup club soda
  1. Rim a highball glass with grapefruit juice and kosher salt.
  2. Mix grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup in the glass.
  3. Stir in tequila.
  4. Add ice then top with club soda.

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Sale Reminder!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!

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A love online shopping more than the average person, and had to share some of my favorite steals going on right now (new seasons = new wardrobe… right?):

  • GiGi New York – Use code spring2014 for Free U.S. Shipping on orders of $100 or more from now till April 15th
  • Gap – Spring Break to Shop – Up to 50% offperfectlypackable picks through March 21st
  • J.Crew – 25% off sale withcodeHEYSPRING
  • Sephora – get 5 samples (instead of the usual 3) at check out (no code needed)
  • Banana Republic – extra 25% off spring styles withcodeBRSPRING – ends today!
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How to Pack a Toiletry Bag

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Not the most romantic of titles…. but what are you gonna do?!

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My husband and I like to travel… a lot. And one of the biggest pains of traveling? Packing.  I have tried to alleviate some of the pain by putting together a toiletry bag (or two) that can be grabbed at a moments notice.

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Step 1. Make a list of everything you use in your daily routine. 

For me that includes:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Leave in Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Skin Care Products
  • Eye Make-up Remover
  • Night Mask
  • Deodorant
  • Hairspray
  • Hair Brush
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush/paste

Now I’m sure I am missing a few things… but for the most part I NEED each of these every day.

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Step 2. Go buy travel sized versions (or duplicates) of those MUST HAVE items above or transfer small portions into travel sized containers (can be bought here and here).

I know, I know, it may seem pricey, but it is well worth it. Trust me.  I like smaller versions of the products I love (ie. It’s a 10) because I know exactly what product I’m using (don’t have to worry about labels falling off, etc.), and then I just refill it with the original sized product once it runs out.

Also, I HAVE to use a deep conditioner when I travel (the hard water is not my friend), so I always pack that, although I don’t use it on a daily basis.  I also have a little thing of shampoo in case the hotel doesn’t have great products (not worth not bringing and then having bad vacation hair – right?).

I also LOVE Sephora for this reason.  Their samples have pretty much made up the majority of my travel kit over the years – face creams, tiny sunscreens, little perfumes – it’s awesome!

Step 3. Keep a list of products you can’t buy duplicates of and need to add to your kit before traveling.

My skincare regimen is rather… pricey.  So the idea of shelling out for duplicates, only to use once or twice a month, is not a good use of funds, so I make sure to add them before I leave.

Products that can “dry” out if not used regularly or in a smaller amount of time – ie my eyelash extension gel, also get put “on the list.”

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Step 4. Add anything else that you know you are going to need, that you may not use on a regular basis.

For me that includes:

  • Bobby pins/hairbands
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen

The key here is not to let this “list” get out of control with hypotheticals.  You easily could end up with 20 types of band-aids, aloe vera after-sun gel, antihistamines, etc., but I HIGHLY recommend you keep it to a travel sized pouch of Advil (2 tablets), 1 band-aid, and buy any cremes or large format items at your destination should you need them (unless you are a mom, then I guess you probably should be prepared for anything… but for those of you only looking out for yourself/carrying on your luggage, this is my recommendation).

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Step 5. While you are at it, put together an extra make-up kit.

Now this is ONLY for those of you that are not going to Vegas.  I have traveled with many a girlfriend who has pulled out half a MAC store when it comes to getting ready for a night out on the town… this advice is not for you.

I realized that I was always forgetting something make-up wise when I traveled, so I eventually caved in and bought new stuff.

By “buy new stuff” I pretty much only bought more BareMinerals powder, but I basically moved my half used ones into my travel kit and upgraded my Kabuki brush.  I originally was using travel sized brushes to do my make-up (why I have no idea), so I moved those into the kit and upgraded to REAL make-up brushes.

The Sephora samples also play a huge role here – I have a travel sized liquid eyeliner, mascara and lipstick that I travel with. It’s amazing how far those samples will take you!

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Now that you are all set with your travel kits, store them in a cool place (I recommend under a sink/in a cabinet), because if you store them in your luggage (which you may store in the attic or another hot place), it could ruin all of your products, and then you are back at square one.

Good luck packing!

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