Saturday, February 24, 2018

Where to Eat on the North Shore, Hawaii

Coconut Shrimp & Mac Salad

We all know my undying love for food. When in Rome, you eat pasta. When in Paris, you drink your cappuccinos. When in Hawaii, you eat everything. There are certain places I always go to on the North Shore.

This year was particularly fun. We tried a ton of different and unique places to eat and drink from Haleiwa to Laie. We stopped at fruit stands and a bakery that blew our minds. There was a shrimp truck that wasn't worth the time or money and an incredible burger place known for bringing love, peace and family together. It was such an amazing food ride and we just rode the wave.

With much ado, I'd love to start out with my favorite Coffee Shop:

Coffee Menu
1) Coffee Gallery, Haleiwa, HI.

This coffeehouse kills two birds with one stone. Their coffee is rich with a notes of chocolate, especially in their cold brew. This is what my friend always ordered. However, what a lot of people don't know is how amazing their smoothies are as well. I get the Alooooha!. I tried to get a different one but I love Mango, Bananas and Papayas too much to venture. Highly recommend picking up a bag of their coffee as a gift for family and friends.

Shout Ribs, Ted's Bakery

2) Ted's Bakery, Kamehameha, Hwy (between Sunset Beach and Velzyland Beach)

Beloved referred to as "Uncle Ted's" by me and my friend. We went there twice and both got different things each time. Not only is the staff wonderful but everything is authentically Hawaiian and, most importantly, delicious! I highly recommend the Hawaiian BBQ Shout Ribs and Chicken! The mac salad is so so good. It's my favorite on the island. It was rated one of Hawaii's Best in 2017 and for good reason. I cannot recommend this place more. I would recommend Ted's Bakery over any food truck. Now, that says a lot. Did I mention they have pie? ... They have pie.

Peanut Butter Toast with banana

3) Packed lunch or at your Airbnb.  

A little off the norm, right? I'm recommending your own place because most locals eat at home. They have large BBQs with family and friends over. It was almost difficult to find restaurants open for dinner due to how often locals share their meals at home. Whether this is due to the North Shore having a large mormon population, with the temple within walking distance from our own airbnb, or they were trying to save money was unclear. What was clear is that breakfast was always eaten at "home" during our stay and we packed 3/4 of our lunch to eat on the beach. We got Love's 100% Whole Wheat bread, ham, mayo and mustard. We tried to buy as local as possible. Including eggs, jam, bananas, fruits, veggies and beer! We won't regret. Everything is wonderfully fresh. 

4) Angel's Ice Cream, Laie, HI

I don't have a photo of this Ice Cream Parlor because it smelled so good that I, simply, ate it. I didn't even think about taking a picture. That happens to me a lot when I'm on Hawaii. I don't think, I just life and it's wonderful! Until I get home and realize I have nothing to show for it in this post! I had the acai sorbet and my friend got chocolate. It was honestly so good I can't believe we didn't go back again. I'm still dreaming about that sorbet. 

Double Cut Pork Loin chop, Lei Lei Bar & Grill

5) Lei Lei's Bar & Grill, Turtle Bay Resort

This meal was our "go all out" meal on our trip. Sitting on the golf course of Turtle Bay's resort is a lovely little bar & grill known for their fresh food and large beer selection. It is on the pricey side but lunch is bit less. Both of our plates were wonderful and, though sad to admit, we both couldn't make it to the clean plate club. We did our very best though. I do recommend this spot if you are looking to mingle with other vacationers. You most certainly will not find locals at this restaurant but you can tell that many people own their own apartments on the grounds and are returners ever year.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Denim Dress & Accessories ... Lots and Lots of Accessories

facing forward

If it's possible to own anymore accessories than I already do, I doubt it, than I will need a closet instead of a jewelry box. It's a love I shared with my belated Memére and therefore, I have a lot of pride in my collection. I collect jewelry and accessories from all over the world and locally at thrift stores. This past summer began my collection of amber necklaces which I find an excuse to wear at all cost. Though, very heavy, they are lovely and hold memories from my trip to Morocco.

My bracelet collection has grown over the past few years. Though I can't wear them at work. Anytime I start typing they have to come off. Never-the-less, a promise has been made to wear them as much as possible on the weekends to make up for it. My favorites are the gold bangles my grandmother bought me in India and my personal compilation of wooden bangles.

My denim dress was a Clear the Rack find from Nordstrom Rack. I can't wait to wear it in the summer but for now I've been wearing it with booties. I'm on the hunt for a long hoodie to wear under it, since it's been averaging 35* this past week. Best part? Pockets!

Looking at wooden bangles

walking, looking at shoes


looking away

blowing kisses

Denim Dress - Robert Rodriguez (more sizes, more sizes) // Velvet Booties - 14th & Union (similar,
similar) // Amber Necklaces - Marrakesh, Morocco // Boho Necklace - Chicos (old, gift
from my dad!, similar) // Gold Bracelets (gift from my Memére from India, similar) //
Wooden Bangles - thrifted (similar)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mahina Boutique Jumpsuit & Velvet Cardigan

For those who had it, I hope you had an amazing three day weekend. Mine consisted of getting caught up. On sleep, laundry, Olympics and exercising. Guys, there was so much laundry it was coming creeping out of my closet. 

This outfit is a whole lot of comfy and fun. Super easy to throw on and you can wear this jumper with almost anything. It's by far one of the best purchases from my Hawaiian excursion. I've always been a sucker for wide leg pants. The fact that this pair comes with a top was a "take my money" moment. Again, this is from my favorite little boutique in Hawaii but I did buy it in Kailua and not the one in Halewei. 

My cardigan is not from a vintage shop or even my darling Memére's closet. It's from Zulily! I saw it, my eyes bugged out, I bought it. It's a staple in my wardrobe because it's velvet (my fave) and boho. It reminds my of one of my old art professor's pieces. I was drooling over it back then too. 

Shoes were a steal from Nordstrom Rack. They're Rack brand, 14th & Union. They have great basics with a fashionable twist on them. They're not only comfortable but they pretty much go with anything. I've walked a lot of blocks in these heels and they don't hurt. I recommend socks with them though. 

Earrings are also from Mahina! 

Jumpsuit - Mahina (similar, similar) // Velvet Cardigan - Zulily (similar) //
Velvet Bootie - 14th & Union (Nordstrom Rack, similar, similar) // Earrings - Mahina (similar)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Valentine's Day Red Pleated Top & Joggers

Valentine's Day front

On Valentine's Day, we wear red!

What a strange year I've had. This is the first Valentine's Day that didn't have me in a panic. It could be because Galentine's Day (02/13) was celebrated with 2 hours of bowling, fries and some of the most influential women in Seattle. It could be because meditation has been incorporated into my mornings before work. However, it's more than likely because it was just another Wednesday. I would say that "nothing important happened today" but that's not true. Our country's in heart aches today by another mass attack in Florida. At a school, no less.

Valentine's Day is very much a cookie cutter holiday for me. If there was a family and children in my life on a daily basis, I envision it would be filled with sweet little cards of love. In the corporate world, it's a bit different. Instead it's filled with Zara red pleated shoulder tops and black joggers with pumps.

In light of yesterday, I do want to wish everyone a peace, love and happiness for the month of February. Though half way through, this month is home to Black History Month and American Heart Month and we should celebrate and educate accordingly.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day, all!

Valentine's Day front pony tail

Valentine's Day side

Front Smiles

Earring Close up

Red Pleated Top - Zara (similar) // Black Joggers - Trouvé // Black
Leather Pumps - Nine West // Double Pearl Pendant Necklace - Stella & Dot //
Statement Earrings (similar)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hunter Green Dress and Floral Booties

facing forward in dress, vest and booties

smiling forward, dress, vest, booties

Side - dress, vest, booties

hair shot - dress, vest, booties

looking out the window - dress, vest, booties

Hello, gems. I don't know how I survived my first week back after my vacation. It seemed like the weekend would never get here but here we are and it feel so good to kick back. While I was on my trip, I rare sat down unless I was lounging at the beach. Even then I would get up and swim every 20 minutes or so. Being outside in the sunshine did a number on my health for the week. I'm so thankful for being blessed enough to even take a trip, never the less soak up that Vitamin D.

There's a lot going on this weekend and next week. My schedule was thrown into a frenzy when I got back. Which is great, I love being busy. However, making time for myself has been harder than I expected. More specially, working out. I will get these though.

Do you recognize the dress or the vest? or the shoes?? Haha! These are all items I've owned for the past year that I threw together. My earrings are from my favorite boutique in Hawaii, Mahina. Here's a post with my dress, a post with my vest and a post with my floral booties!

Dress - Zulily (similar, similar) // Leather Vest - Thrifted (similar) // Floral Booties -
Mia (similar) // Gold Line Earrings - Mahina Boutique (similar, similar)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

5 Ways to Live Like a Local in Oahu, Hawaii

Though not a Hawaiian local permanently, my heart is always with the land and the people who resign on the islands.  For some reason my obsession with the tropical climate, surfer style and Aloha vibes came on strongly when I was in my teens. Back when everyone wore puka shells and JT had ramen hair. My first trip was for a High School Band competition. It took two years of hoarding my allowance money, baby sitting savings and football concession stand raising. I remember the trip well enough to tell you: I didn't listen to our chaperones, stuck to the tourist attractions and I was burnt to a crisp by day 2. Above all, I remember paradise.

My third trip was a treat. I stayed with my college roommate's Auntie and Uncle in Honolulu and we coasted through the entire island. This is when the magic of the island found me. More specifically in the North Shore. It's like the North Shore owns a part of my spirit. It greeted me like an old friend as we scoured through the rain forest, through the mountains and back in the sea. This is where I found my true Aloha Vibe.

Many of my friends have asked me to create an excel doc of the "best of the best" for their trips. However, I'll be frank, I don't travel when I go to Hawaii. I live. It's my most active and zen self. Though I will probably not give you a doc, I will tell you how to start living like a local in the North Shore.

1. Get an Airbnb - If you stay in a resort, that's the vacation you're going to get. "Gourmet" Hawaii food, pool time and manmade reef lagoons to keep you from the tides. Nothing wrong with that! However, when you airbnb you get the full local experience. Definitely get an airbnb with a kitchen stove top. This past stay, we stayed in Laie which is just outside the pipeline. The perfect location. Next to a walkable beach, Foodland and (most importantly) surfer watching! It's only 30 minutes from Hale'iwa, which is my favorite place to shop, get coffee and shaved ice.

2. HIKE - It's your vacation. However, when you're on a tropical island and you have an entire ocean in front of you and an entire mountain range behind you, wouldn't you want a taste of both worlds? North Shore has some incredible hikes that range from easy to very very advanced (like carrying a sleeping bag and a machete). Personally, I'm a fan of intermediate hikes midday and easy in the morning. A great hike for those who don't mind a bit of a climb for a view is the Ehukai Trail. Once you get to the top, you have the option to keep going or climb back. Be careful if you continue on, the trails are longer than referenced on websites but a gorgeous stroll through the forest.

3) Eat - Oh you hearrrrd me! If you're hiking like a local, you're burning enough to eat enough. I have a few favorite spots on the North Shore and in Kailua (post in queue) but I want to talk about my food strategy first because I think it's important -- Make 3/4 of your meals and dine the rest of the time. I suggest this because Hawaii is expensive for locals. Plus, why would you want to leave the beach to get food only to come back? We packed lunch 3/4 of the days on our trip because we were either hiking or laying out. Mornings we made breakfast at the airbnb and then often ate dinner out.

4) Ask - Locals aren't going to tell you their secrets spots on the island. That's just not how it works in Hawaii and that's okay because you have to remember it's not your home. However, definitely ask a local where to get the best _____. I've asked for sorbet, beer, shrimp trucks, smoothie shops, coffee houses, paddle board rentals and even tourist attractions. "Is Diamond Head worth it?" No shame in asking, almost everyone is super friendly and will tell you what they think.

5) Give Gratitude - I love vacation, who doesn't right? Everyone loves kicking back and being free from life, jobs, responsibilities, etc. When I'm on the Island, I greet the water every morning and say goodnight in the evening. Many locals know what they have and don't take their home for granted. So, I do the same. I thank the trees for shade on my hikes. I thank the forest for giving birds a place to sing peaceful songs while I wander. I give blessings to any scenic view I can walk to and always thank the sun for it's vitamin D after a long day of soaking it in. When I leave, I always thank the Island for my retreat and detox from my everyday life. It makes me appreciate my time so much more.

Aloha, friends.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tanned, White Tee & Skinny Jeans

Facing camera White tee, skinny jeans and nude pumps

Side View white tee skinny jeans and nude pumps

Smiling white tee skinny jeans and nude pumps

Hair back white tee, skinny jeans and nude pumps

Aloha, darlings. I'm back from vacation with a darker tan than intended. I spent every single waking moment in the sun. It was like being greeted by a dear old friend, that sun of mine. I know some of you might follow me on my personal IG. If you do, you've seen some of the insane hikes that I did and all of the beach time I got to have.

It was a much needed mental health break and I couldn't be happier. I feel so privileged and thankful that I was able to go. I will definitely post about my trip. I already have one lined up in the queue for you. This was a different trip than I've ever taken. I didn't take a single OOTD pic because I was either in a bikini or in workout gear. I just didn't think about it. It was a refreshing break. I sat in front of a computer once to fill out a form. That was it!

My outfit today couldn't have been easier. I didn't want to wear clothessss or do my hair (so I didn't). Getting up and putting on jeans was like putting my legs into jail. It was awful but immediately appreciated them when I walked out in 53* weather. I definitely wore commuter shoes into wore and changed into my heels when I got there. Heels was even harder than the jeans...

I'll be getting these jeans tapered, btw. I wrote about this in another post about Express jeans being just absurdly long! These are a pair of regulars and I have 4 inches of fabric rolled under. I honestly might just cut them because fray is in right now. Thoughts?

White Top - BP Nordstrom // Jeans - Express // Gold Watch - Marc 
by Marc Jacobs // Nude Pumps - Nine West

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Currently on Vacay

Beer in a mason jar on the beach

Hello Gems!

Letting you know that all is well in the world and I'm currently hiking through the jungle, jumping from train track to train track and swimming through the ocean.

Will post soon but until then: Aloha from the North Shore. 💖

Thursday, January 25, 2018

All Black & a White Blazer

Oh Tuesday, you mean mean mean second child. I'm very bias against my days of the weeks. This week my favorite day is Friday. It's normally Saturday but this week, the weekend starts early and floats into next week for a much long needed vaycay. Guys, I'm so amped about it.

So this week has been nuts-o but I'm buckling down time to pack up, clean up and ship out. I'll let my location be a surprise. For those who know me, you'll know this is one of my top 3 favorite places to be in the world. That's high on the praise list.

Last week I decided to ditch the mirror for my old school DSLR. This morning was my first attempt at getting back into the habit of using it, I almost prefer it because I don't have my awkward phone in the mirror with me. I'll do my best to use it when I have time in the mornings. Though rare, for lighting, and I have to keep it steady for a longer open shutter I like using my space for photos. Something I can get more creative with in the future.

Looking down at my OOTD

My OOTD side view

Shall we talk clothes? It rained all day today so I wore my commuter shoes (not shown) to work and changed at my desk. I'm always sporting my favorite pumps by Nine West and one of my favorite blazers which I bought at a thrift store. I kept it borderline casual with a black tee and jeggings. 

Playing with my hair and looking out the window

White Blazer - Thrifted - H&M (old, similar) // Black Top - TJ Maxx (similar, similar) // 
Pumps - Nine West // Black Pants - Calvin Klein (Old, similar) // 
Gold Necklace - Gorjana  (similar)

Pink Sweater & Moto Boots

This pink sweater was one of the first purchases I made after I changed jobs. I think I was looking for comfort while I had not only moved companies but also left my happy place. My last job had some of the best people I'd ever met in it. It's a weird world we live in where we see strangers for 40+ hours a week and then they magically, as if over night, become family. It's been hard for me to keep in touch with almost all of them because of how busy I am but that's for another post.

In short, this pink sweater is not only comfy and cozy but also has a sentimental attachment to it. I tend to match it with something harsh like a Moto Jacket, High Boots or these Moto Booties. I bought these booties at the beginning of winter because I only have heeled booties. I thought I would go easy on my feet and invest in a nice pair of leather flat ones. To my surprise, the booties showed up as a man-made upper. A disappointment but I adored them and the price is something I would have paid for non-leather. I kept them and now I wear them about 3 times a week (here's another post with these shoes). 

I noticed that I don't ever take photos of the back of this sweater and that was the selling point for me. I will have to try and get a shot of it while I'm refrigerating my photography set up. I love reading and finding new ways to take photos. 

Pink Sweater - Painted Threads (sold out) // Jeans - Express //
Moto Booties - B.O.C Delavigne // Abalone Shell Necklace - handmade

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Just Finished Reading: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes: A Novel

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes Review

Another part of my new years resolution is to try and read a book every month. There are some people who are avid readers. They read religiously and have a book with them where ever they roam. My mother is one of these people. So is my sister-in-law and one of my best friends. They're some of my favorite humans because they're always telling me what to pick up next when I have time. 

I'm a big library supporter so don't be surprised if in every book post I say "just borrow this from the library". In fact, I'll make a point to suggest it. 

Book Time. 

I liked this book. It's that easy. It was a fun quick read that took me 4 days because I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough at night. It's a bit predictable in a happy kind of way. The main character, Rachel Monroe, is relatable. Though she goes through a harder time than most and deals with social outcasting and, essentially, town bullying until she can control her gift. 

You'll fall in love with Ashe out of nowhere and wish he'd spend more time with Rachel and she wishes the same thing. You'll also wish Catch, the sweet elderly pie lady, was your crazy great aunt in a heartbeat. Her grumpy banter with Rachel is charming and loving in a thick skin type of way. 

You'll find friends along the way and help build the town. However, you'll mostly help bake and sell pies. Who wouldn't love that? 

The ending was a tad surprising. I'm happy I read this at the age I am because I think if I were in my mid twenties or younger, I would have been pissed. The ending leaves you in hope and with your own imagination to create what happens next. 

Charming, easy, and sweet as pie. 

I recommend. This would make a great book to read in the summer at the park. 


Friday, January 12, 2018

The Jacquard Skirt & Earl Grey

Zara Jacquard Skirt with pompoms

Moroccan Skirt Zara Jacquard Skirt with pompoms

Zara Jacquard Skirt with pompoms

Out of all the skirts I own, this is my favorite one. This. is. it. It may be because I bought this skirt at Zara, over the summer, in Madrid. It was the most beautiful Zara I've ever been in. My goodness, the chic-ness of that store! If you have spare time, google it. It's divine.

The skirt has a Moroccan vibe to it, which isn't surprising as I had been to Marrakesh the previous day so I'm sure the design resonated with me.  The pompoms at the bottom give it a fun bohemian vibe which is super easy to dress up or down depending on the mood of the day.

This particular day was casual chic. I was so anti-heels that I opted for wedges. Tights, only because I had to do to the 40* chill we're all suffering from in the mornings. My white v-neck is a classic and staple in my wardrobe paired with my Hello Gorgeous mug.

Bottom picture shows my office cover up choice, e.g. when I get cold. I definitely brought my large puffy coat with me. I'm also freakin' cold.

Dets are below. Hope everyone's January is off to a great start!

Zara Faux Leather Jacket (old, similar)  // Tights // Wedge Booties (old, similar)