Hawaii Mom Blog






October 17, 2017

Paalaa Kai Mini Mart

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A few years ago I went to Paalaa Kai Mini Mart for the first time because Nat mentioned how her husband loves the fried chicken there.

We recently picked up some food there again since we were right next door at Paalaa Kai Bakery to get some sweets.

Hot Dog Musubi

SPAM Musubi

Fried Chicken

We picked up some musubis and fried chicken to take to a nearby park.

Everything hit the spot and was really tasty.

Definitely check out Paalaa Kai Mini Mart to pick up some eats for the beach or park!

Paalaa Kai Mini Mart
66-945 Kaukonahua Rd
Waialua, HI 96791 
(808) 637-9182

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October 16, 2017

Lonohana Estate Chocolate Brings Handcrafted Creations to Salt at Our Kaka'ako

Handcrafted chocolate maker Lonohana Estate Chocolate is bringing its award-winning chocolate delicacies to SALT at Our Kakaʻako. Chocolate lovers are invited to the grand opening celebration of its first retail location, on Oct. 20 and 21, from 5 to 9 p.m.


In 2009, Lonohana began to plant its cacao orchard on the North Shore of Oʻahu. It has since become known worldwide for its unique tree-to-bar business model and for producing world-class Hawaiʻi-grown cacao. Now, its locally sourced and handmade chocolate bars can be enjoyed at the Lonohana Tasting Bar in SALT at Our Kakaʻako.


For its grand opening, Lonohana will also showcase a few of its proprietary chocolate drinks, in-house made cookies and a wide selection of handcrafted milk and dark chocolate bars. The drink menu includes Chocolate Thai Iced Tea, The Koko-Colada and a very special hot chocolate. The shop is located next to Butterfly Ice Cream and across from Moku Kitchen and Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, near the middle of the SALT at Our Kakaʻako complex.


“Lonohana Estate Chocolate brings customers a new way to discover chocolate, with its locally grown and crafted offerings. As cacao farmers and chocolate makers, their connection to the land complements the retail and dining options here, expanding the unique experiences that SALT at Our Kakaʻako is known for,” said Jimmy Ventura, General Manager of SALT at Our Kakaʻako.


In Hawaiian culture, Lono is the god of peace, agriculture, fertility and music. ʻOhana means family – those by blood and one’s extended family. Named for a mash-up of these two Hawaiian words, Lonohana is the result of two families’ dream to create a vertically integrated and completely transparent chocolate company.
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Visit Tokyo: Harry Hedgehog Cafe

I'm not a huge animal person so I was on the fence about the Hedgehog Cafe.  I decided to ask my children if they wanted to go.  Of course, they did.  (duh.) 

After reading the reviews and talking to people that went, it's best to make an appointment online.  Appointments usually open up for the next month a couple of weeks before.  With online appointments, you are reserving the entire hour for 2800 yen per person whether or not you pet the hedgehogs.  If you go without a reservation, you can visit for a half an hour for 1190 yen, but you may have to wait if there's a line.  I was worried that we wouldn't need the entire hour, but turns out we did and my kids could have actually stayed longer if allowed.

When we got there I was happy that it was a brightly lit and cheery cafe.  We were seated next to a trough with 4 hedgehogs snuggled inside.  We read the dos and don'ts and then a staff member came over to demonstrate how to hold the hedgehog.  We also ordered a snack, worms, to feed the hedgehogs.  We wore gloves and made sure to keep the hedgehogs inside the trough.


It was a little stressful watching the kids handle the little animals.  I harshly whispered "gently!" many times!  The kids totally loved every minute and it was one of their favorite memories of our trip.  Definitely recommend! 

Harry Hedgehog Cafe and Pet Store 
Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-7-2 IWAHORI Building 2F

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Visit Rhode Island: Grinnell's Beach

While in Rhode Island, we decided to stop at Grinnell's Beach for the sole purpose of touching a part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Grinnell's Beach is a small beach with easy access and plenty of parking.

There were a few people at the beach - and they all must've looked at us strangely as we pulled up in shoes and jeans.

The beach is now undergoing some improvements.

Grinnell's Beach
Main Rd
Tiverton, RI 02878
(401) 625-6780
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Breakfast at Paliuli

I recently met @darayoung for breakfast at Paliuli at Mililani Golf Club.  It's been about a year since I first went to Paliluli for breakfast, so I was excited to go back!

Mini Kim Chee Fried Rice Omelet

Breakfast Special (Two eggs, meat, rice or toast)
I opted to get a Mini Kim Chee Fried Rice Omelet.  Last time I ordered a regular fried rice omelet and it was gigantic.  The mini is still pretty huge - I could only finish half!  I loved the fried rice - it was very tasty, with a little kick from the kim chee.

Service was very good, and Paliuli was a nice spot for breakfast!

95-176 Kuahelani Ave
Mililani, HI 96789
(808) 623-2222
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October 13, 2017

Visit New England: Covered Bridges

New England is home to hundreds of covered bridges, and during our road trip, we visited one covered bridge in New Hampshire, and four in Vermont.

Gold Brook Covered Bridge - Vermont

Northfield Falls Covered Bridge - Vermont

Lower Cox Covered Bridge - Vermont

Upper Cox Covered Bridge - Vermont

Waterloo Covered Bridge - New Hampshire
The Northfield Falls, Upper Cox, and Lower Cox covered bridges are all a very short drive from one another.

These charming structures are neat to see in person, and they make great photo subjects!

Hopefully we'll get to see more covered bridges on future travels to New England!

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Kona Grill Revisited

We recently re-visited Kona Grill, one of our family's favorite restaurants!

Picasso Roll

Chicken Chili

Cheeseburger + Mashed Potatoes + Mac & Cheese

Chicken Tenders + Shrimp & Pork Fried Rice + Mac & Cheese

Shrimp Tempura + Mashed Potatoes + Shrimp & Pork Fried Rice
Fudge Brownie

I opted for the Chicken Chili.  It was hearty and delish, full of flavorful chicken, beans, and veggies.  I also enjoyed the accompanying mini jalapeno cornbread muffins.

The Picasso Roll consisted of spicy yellowtail, avocado, yellowtail, jalapeño cilantro relish, togarashi, sriracha, and yuzu ponzu.

The kids meals are huge and include two sides and a drink, as well as a cute orange animal!

For dessert, we indulged in the amazing Fudge Brownie.  A rich, fudgy brownie was topped with ice cream and caramel and chocolate sauces.  It was divine!

Service was great, and Kona Grill continues to rank up there as one of our family's favorite restaurants in Waikiki!

Kona Grill - Waikiki
2330 Kalakaua Ave #312
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 756-9591
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