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March 28, 2017

Visit Tokyo: a le Loic

While in Tokyo, I couldn't resist the seasonal sakura desserts at various eateries.

One such eatery was a le Loic in the VenusFort mall in Odaiba, which was offering a Cerise et Sakura ice cream.

Cerise et Sakura
The cherry flavor was very pleasant in the creamy and delicious ice cream, and there was also a slight saltiness (reminiscent of ume).

My kids ordered sorbet, and my husband ordered a crepe, which was full of bananas, strawberries, chocolate crumbles, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.
Sorbet de la Fraise
Sorbet de la Chocolat

Crepe
a le Loic was a great stop to pick up something sweet to eat!




a le Loic
VenusFort
Japan, 〒135-0064 Tokyo, Koto
2F VenusFort
 +81 3-3599-2224
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Wat Get Kitchen

My husband and I recently picked up lunch at Wat Get Kitchen, which specializes in Puerto Rican food.

All G Pastele Plate




Panadilla


Inside the Panadilla


Panadilla de Queso

Inside the Cheese Panadilla

Sweet Passion Panadilla

Inside the Sweet Passion Panadilla
Since I wasn't sure if I'd like the Pastele or Gandule rice, I ordered some Empanadillas (and told my husband I'd sneak some bites off of his plate).

I ordered the Cheese Panadillas, as well as the Sweet Passion Panadillas for the kids. 

Long story short - our order was made incorrectly.  Instead of 2 cheese panadillas, I was given 2 pastele stew panadillas (we also got shorted on change - one of the prices of the items we ordered was different from what we were actually charged), and after much confusion and discussion, the woman quickly remedied the situation and apologized.  We were the first ones in the restaurant that morning, and while the woman was setting up in the back, she asked us what we wanted to order. This ended up as a lesson to ensure I never put in an order with a person that is preoccupied.

Anyways, the lady ended up giving us the pastele stew panadillas for free as a token of her apology and also since she already made them, which turned out to be a good thing, because it turned out to be my favorite of the panadillas!

The cheese panadilla was simply stuffed with mozarella.  It would've tasted much better with some kind of sauce.  The kids loved the sweet passion panadillas, which were stuffed with guava and cream cheese.  

My husband ordered the All G Pastele Plate, which included gandule rice, pastele, mac salad, and tossed green bacalao salad.  He enjoyed his meal.  I thought the gandule rice was really good.  

Despite the mix up with our order and receiving the incorrect amount of change, if I find myself in the mood for Puerto Rican food again, I'd definitely go back to Wat Get Kitchen to eat more gandule rice and pastele stew panadillas!


Wat Get Kitchen
94-752C Hikimoe St,
Waipahu, HI 96797
(808) 671-6611
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Auntie Pasto's - Kunia

The last time I went to Auntie Pasto's was over a decade ago.  I went to the Kapahulu location, which has since closed.

Since we were in the area, we decided to take the family to the Kunia location.

Complimentary Bread
Fried Eggplant



Chicken Milanese Sandwich
Lunch Pasta Combo:
Caesar Salad

Lasagna

Kids Mac & Cheese
The Fried Eggplant was underseasoned, and so was my Chicken Milanese sandwich.  Even the sauce that accompanied the sandwich seemed underseasoned.  The chicken was tender and juicy, it's just too bad it lacked any flavor.  The focaccia bread was good, and I liked that the sandwich was packed with a lot of fresh veggies.

My husband ordered the Lasagna lunch combo.  Served 11 to 3pm daily, you can choose your choice of pasta, which is served with a lunch-size portion of Caesar Salad.  The lasagna was huge!

Kids meals are very reasonably-priced (the Mac & Cheese was just $4.95), and include a drink (refills extra; milk, chocolate milk, and lemonade are also extra).

Service was very slow (we were the first ones seated, and we did not get our meals until 40 minutes later!  Thankfully we were able to eat complimentary bread (one free refill), but the bread wasn't that great either.  The bread was chewy and cold.

However, our server was very friendly, and I'd give them another try in the future, but maybe next time I'd stick to pizzas or pastas.



Auntie Pasto's - Kunia
94-673 Kupuohi St b109
Waipahu, HI 96797
(808) 680-0005
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March 27, 2017

Smurfs: The Lost Village Advance Screening Tickets Giveaway



In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does.  Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!   In theaters April 7, 2017!
Enter to win 1 of 3 family VIP 4-packs for the advance screening of Smurfs: The Lost Village on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 10:30am at Ward 16. Visit Hawaii Mom Blog on Instagram (https://instagram.com/p/BSJ5KlFgGrq/) for entry requirements. 
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Morton's The Steakhouse

My sister-in-law was in town, so my husband said we should take advantage of having a "sitter" and go out on a date-night.

We ended up at Morton's The Steakhouse.  Even though Nadia blogged that it's a kid-friendly restaurant, and we did see a few kids at Morton's, I'm glad my husband and I had a chance to dine alone in leisure.  And in peace.

It was our first time at Morton's, so we sought out the recommendations of our server.

Onion Loaf
I opted for the Chicken Christopher - thin pieces of breaded chicken that are broiled on each side and served with a garlic beurre blanc sauce. It was tender and seasoned well.
Chicken Christopher
The Lyonnaise Potatoes - pan-fried potatoes and onions, were good, but I enjoyed the Sauteed Spinach & Button Mushrooms much better, which was what my husband ordered with his meal.
Lyonnaise Potatoes
My husband ordered the Steak and Seafood Special, which included a salad, filet mignon, seafood, side, and dessert for $63.99.

Caesar Salad
She warned us that the salads are huge, so she offered to split it so we could both enjoy some of the salad.

6 oz Filet Mignon with Grilled Shrimp
Sauteed Spinach and Button Mushrooms
A few of the desserts take about 30 minutes to make, so we put in our order for the Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake just after we put in our dinner order.
Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake
The rich chocolate cake with a molten center was an excellent ending to our first meal at Morton's The Steakhouse.

Although our server seemed hurried at times and was not often present, she was very friendly and knowledgeable.

Overall we had a great date night at Morton's The Steakhouse.

Morton's The Steakhouse
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 949-1300
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March 24, 2017

Homemade Ice Cream on the North Shore at Scoop of Paradise


I love ice cream, so it will come as no surprise why I've featured Scoop of Paradise so many times on Hawaii Mom Blog.  It's my favorite ice cream shop on the island, and our family frequents both the Haleiwa and Waialua locations.

Blue Moon

Chocolate Sin

Cookies N Cream

Tutu's Chocolate Chip
Our most recent visit was to the Haleiwa location.

Scoop of Paradise serves rich, creamy, homemade ice cream.

My all-time favorite flavor at Scoop of Paradise is the Triple Crown Chocolate, but the Chocolate Sin is a close second, which I got on this visit.

Although the prices are on the higher side, you get premium ice cream, and I love that the serving sizes are generous (that's a single scoop in the cone; the others are kiddie scoops).

If you're on the North Shore and craving something cool and sweet, but don't want to stand in the long shave ice lines, check out Scoop of Paradise!

Scoop of Paradise
66-145 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
(808) 637-3456
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Book Review: Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life



I consider myself a happy person and I know that happiness comes from within, but as a mother of two kids, I worry about my children relying on outside factors to make them happy.  I was curious when I saw the title Are We Happy Yet?  Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life by international recognized positive psychology coach and talk radio show host Lisa Cypers Kamen.  Her helpful book shares with the reader her journey and provides practical tips, tools, and exercises needed for developing sustainable happiness.

In her book Cyper Kamen states, "If you want to be happy, avoid victimhood at all costs."  I think this is a key lesson and I want to teach my kids that they are each the hero in their own life; that they are in charge of their lasting happiness.  The book discusses a Happiness Factor or H-factor and how by pinpointing whether it's low, medium, or high that you will learn more about yourself.  And with this personal knowledge, you will be equipped with the power to make better choices and to understand why we make certain choices.

Another key idea I liked in the book is to let go of the toxic people in our lives.  By letting go of these people that complicate our lives, we make more room for peace and contentment.    Already my nine year old daughter has experienced this process.  She has dealt with classmates that make her emotionally sad and have let those friendships end.  She now focuses on friendships that make her feel good about herself.

Cyper Kamen tells readers the secret to happiness is inside each one of us and gives us the awareness, tools, and strategies through Eight Keys on how to reach it.  I enjoyed reading her approach and found it both enlightening and realistic.  Read on for more information about the book and the author.  Are We Happy Yet? is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and neighborhood booksellers.

About the Book:
Happiness is an Inside Job. A NO-NONSENSE APPROACH TO BOOSTING HAPPINESS FOR SKEPTICS AND SEEKERS

It's safe to say that 2016 was a tough year and, with the start of 2017, things don't seem
much brighter. From political upsets to the loss of major icons, and anger-filled social media
feeds to daily violent news reports, it's understandable that stress levels are running high.
Internationally recognized positive psychology coach and talk radio show host Lisa
Cypers Kamen's powerful message of how to take control of your own happiness is not only
relevant, but desperately needed. "It's not enough to just think happy thoughts," says Cypers
Kamen. "We must take action to create happiness." And thankfully she's sharing just how to do
that in her new book, Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life, a no-nonsense
fusion of science and heart, filled with proven tools and techniques for creating your very own
"happiness revolution."

In Are We Happy Yet? Cypers Kamen reveals her breakthrough system for cultivating
sustainable happiness and well-being, regardless of life's drama, trauma, or challenges. Through
practical tips, tools, and exercises, she shows readers exactly how to boost their "Happiness-
Factor" to new levels, and tap into the joy and peace they deserve. Through her wide-ranging,
decades-long career, Cypers Kamen has redefined - for herself and many others, worldwide -
the pursuit of happiness, even during life's most challenging times. Are We Happy Yet? draws
on that expertise and shows readers how to take the applicable principles of positive psychology,
and start using it in their daily lives.

"Positive psychology focuses on what's right with life here, now and tomorrow, rather
than ruminating on what's wrong with it and what happened in the past," says Cypers Kamen.
"Are We Happy Yet? helps readers embrace the absolute best parts of life, each and every day."

Through the pages of Are We Happy Yet?, Cypers Kamen teaches readers how to:
. Accept the past for what it is-a reference point, not a destination
. Embrace the truth that, while life is tough, you can be happy
. Transform your relationship with yourself from enemy to ally
. Appreciate why less is often more
. Focus on what's right with your life, not what's wrong
. Control the only person you can-yourself!
. Invest in yourself to become more mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit
. Use your newly discovered joy to become a more positive and productive influence in the
world
. And much more!

About the Author:
Lisa Cypers Kamen, MA, is an internationally recognized applied positive psychology
coach, author, speaker, documentary filmmaker, and host of the popular syndicated talk
radio show Harvesting Happiness, where she has helped millions of people around the
world generate more joy and fulfillment in their life. Cypers Kamen's global practice
focuses on addiction as well as trauma and life-crisis recovery to help clients balance their
minds, bodies, and emotions, create greater overall well-being, and transform Post-
Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). She is a frequent radio,
television, and print media guest expert, TEDx presenter, and contributor to The
Huffington Post, Positively Positive, and Inspire Me Today.

Cypers Kamen is also the founder of the nonprofit Harvesting Happiness for Heroes, where
she spearheads stigma-free trauma recovery and post-deployment reintegration services
for military personnel and their loved ones challenged by the invisible wounds of war. Her
goal is to help them reawaken joy in their lives.
To learn more about Lisa and her work, visit www.HarvestingHappiness.com &
www.HarvestingHappinessTalkRadio.com, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn, and Instagram.

 

 
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