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

smiles

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