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August 22, 2017

Pedis at Lavish Nails and Spa Kapolei

Pedis with Gem, Mileka Lincoln, and Pashyn Santos

Recently, I painted my nails and was pretty proud of the job I had done.  That is, until my daughter asked me if I had gone to a nail salon.  I told her no and immediately asked her why?  She shrugged and casually commented that the nail salon would have done a better job.  I had to laugh (and hide my nails) as she was quite right. 

So while I was in dire need of a professional pedicure it was kismet that in celebration of Ka Makana Ali'i new Ladies' Night, Gem and I were offered complimentary pedicures from Lavish Nails and Spa!  Wow, the Universe was really listening to my convo with my daughter!

When we arrived at the spa we were greeted by friendly staff, offered water, and instructed to pick out a color.  There are so many beautiful nail polish colors to choose from, but I was able to settle on a bright cheery pink.  I was seated in a nice oversize massage chair and immediately felt relaxed when I dipped my feet into the tub.  The germaphobe in me especially loved that the tub was encased by a plastic type bag for cleanliness.

My technician began with nail shaping, buffing, and cuticle care.  I was getting the Chocolate Swiss pedi so I also had chocolate sugar scrub exfoliation.  The chocolate smell was absolutely dreamy!  She ended with a nice relaxing foot massage before applying the polish - which was indeed perfectly applied!  My feet felt totally rejuvenated and I was ready for a Ladies' night full of shopping!      

So relaxing!  I don't get this when I paint my own toes!

Not only does Lavish offer natural nail care, they offer gel polish, a kids menu for ages 12 and under, and also organic nail care with use of organic plants, herbs, and flora.  Lavish can truly be a one stop shop for all you spa needs.  You can also get wax services, lash perms and lash extensions, body art, facials, make up, as well as cosmetic tattoo!  They are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm and on Sundays from 10am to 6pm.

Happy feet!

Thank you to Lavish Nails and Spa and Ka Makana Ali'i for the complimentary pedicures!  All gratuities were paid on our own.  All opinions are entirely my own.


Lavish Nails & Spa

Ka Makana Ali`i
91 Kapolei Pkwy 5431 Ste 206
Kapolei, HI 96707
(808) 628-4855



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Visit New Hampshire: Ann DeNicola Memorial Playground

Whenever we travel, we try to take the kids to a playground.  During our 7-state road trip over the summer, we only had time for two playgrounds, one of which was the Ann DeNicola Memorial Playground in New Hampshire.

The kids were very eager to go - and it's no surprise, since being in a car for hours at a time will make anyone restless!

The Ann DeNicola Memorial Playground is a really nice playground with adequate shade and seating for the adults.












Unfortunately, the rain started coming, so we didn't get to stay very long.

The boys did have a lot of fun while we were there though.

Just remember to bring insect repellent - there are lots of biting insects out there!


Ann DeNicola Memorial Playground
20 County Rd
Bedford, NH 03110
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Kan Zaman Kaimuki


Kan Zaman, known for its Moroccan/Lebanese fare, recently opened their second location in Kaimuki.  We came here for lunch on a weekday - just a word of caution about the parking lot - it can get crazy crowded during peak lunch time! 

My friend had a hefty meal the night before, so he ordered a Moroccan Salad with a side of chicken (additional charge).  He was able to finish his salad, which he really enjoyed, but was only able to finish about half of the chicken.




I ordered the lamb kebab sandwich and substituted fries for the salad (additional charge). The sandwich came with a very generous portion of meat - I actually had to eat the sandwich with a fork and knife.



For dessert - a slice of tiramisu, which you need to ask for, because it's not on the menu. 



Kan Zaman Kaimuki
1127 11th Avenue
(808) 260-1763


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Lucy's Lab Creamery

I've been wanting to try Lucy's Lab Creamery ever since they opened, and I finally got a chance to visit the shop at their new location at Ward Village's South Shore Market (better parking and better seating!).

@darayoung (who is a fab photographer by the way - be sure to check out her IG!) and I always plan our lunch or dinner dates around ice cream.  After eating brunch at a nearby eatery, we went straight to Lucy's Lab Creamery for ice cream.

There were so many interesting flavors to choose from!

Caramel Azuki

Almond Float with Froot Loops
Surprisingly, I chose Caramel Azuki - I really like caramel, but I don't like azuki at all! The employee said that flavor was his favorite of the ones offered that day, so I decided to give it a try. Yum!! I was pleasantly surprised. The azuki flavor was very subtle, and mixed with the caramel, it was a really nice combination of flavors!

Scoop sizes are pretty small for the price, but the ice cream was delicious!



Lucy's Lab Creamery
1170 Auahi St
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 321-1234
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August 21, 2017

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas Introduces New Cocktail and Culinary Series at Mauka Makai

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas introduces “In the Spirit” – a monthly event celebrating local agriculture and cuisine at its signature restaurant, Mauka Makai. This series features specialty food pairings led by executive chef Ikaika Manaku and handcrafted cocktails designed by the restaurant’s expert mixologists in a fun, social setting with live music.
“This unique experience will bring both visitors and residents together to enjoy a taste of the creative mixology program and innovative cuisine we have here at Mauka Makai,” said Ricky Hamasaki, the resort’s assistant director of food and beverage. “We’re also proud to further highlight our valued partnerships with local farmers, brewers and distillers.”

The series kicks off with “In the Spirit … of Vodka & Potatoes” on Monday, Aug. 28 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The menu features “spud-inspired” dishes highlighting products and produce sourced locally, such as Makaweli Braised Beef Tongue, Vodka Ginger-Cured Hamachi, Maui Venison Sweet Potato Fritters and more. The dishes will be paired with unique libations and specialty cocktails crafted in partnership with Ocean Vodka and other fine products. The event is open to ages 21 and over and is $65 per person. For more information or to make a reservation, call 808-662-6370 or visit westinnanea.com/maukamakai.
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Waimea Valley

Beautiful Waimea Falls

If you are looking for some family friendly adventure that is both fun and safe, look no further than a day at Waimea Valley!  Located in Hale'iwa, Waimea Valley's mission is to preserve and perpetuate the human, cultural and natural resources of Waimea for generations through education and stewardship.  Waimea Valley has been home to a long line of Hawaiian Chiefs and High Priests and is also a popular destination for visitors wishing to explore their world class botanical gardens and hike to the majestic Waimea Falls.

My kids and I arrived on a 
Sunday morning a little after opening so the first parking lot was already full, but there was still plenty of space in the second parking lot.  When we called in the morning for waterfall swimming status, the recording stated the waterfall was flowing and there would be regular swim.  The natural rain fed 45 foot waterfall cascades into the 30 foot deep pond and swimming at the waterfall is allowed, but the status of swimming changes throughout the day depending on the weather.  Unfortunately, when we got to the admissions counter, swimming had just been cancelled due to the low flow of the waterfall.  

The kids are excited to spend the day at Waimea Valley!

We didn't let this bother us since we were excited to see the botanical gardens and historical sites along the main pathway.  Although it is a paved path and mostly stroller and wheelchair friendly, there are shuttle rides available from Hale Ho'ike to the Wailele waterfall turn around area available for purchase at the ticket booth.  The hike to the waterfall is about .75 miles.  Make sure you bring water, sunblock, and bug spray because there is little shade and both my son and I got a couple of mosquito bites. 




The kids enjoyed exploring the gardens of many rare and endangered plants.  Waimea's World Class Botanical Garden features 41 well defined zones, representing 5,000 different types of plants from all around the world!
One of their favorites of the day was visiting the Kauhale - ancient Hawaiian living site. 




That tiny dot is Cade!

Enjoying the view of the waterfall with an ice cream sandwich followed by an afternoon bite to eat - complete with a visit from a peacock!


When we reached the waterfall, we took a break to enjoy the view.  The kids had a great time skipping small stones.  If there had been swimming that day, guests would be required to wear a provided life vest.  There are changing rooms nearby and also a snack bar (cash only) that offers drinks, snacks, shave ice, and ice cream sandwiches.

On the way back, we took the stairs down to a short path along the Kamananui Stream.  The kids really enjoyed exploring this shady area.  We ended our visit with a quick bite to eat and a visit from a peacock!

Waimea Valley is open daily 7 days a week.  They offer venues for special events and weddings.  They are also home to a farmer's market every Thursday and hold special events like moon walks and special occasion dinners and brunches. 


Thank you to Waimea Valley for hosting our visit! 




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The Cook Islands Showcase at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Complimentary general admission passes were provided by our sponsor



The Cook Islands showcase run at the Polynesian Cultural Center is wrapping up its 6 week exhibition on Oahu's north shore, but there are still a few days left to see it, and believe me, you don't want to miss out on this special opportunity to get a taste of the Cook Islands.


Last Friday the four of us visited the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). It was the first visit for our twin sons.

So much has changed since my husband and I last visited PCC. We managed to find the ticket office, which is now located in the new Hukilau Marketplace.  But where is the front entrance?  Just follow the painted yellow flowers!



We wanted to catch the first performance at the Cook Islands exhibit, so we had to make a bee-line from the entrance all the way to the opposite end of the center t catch the 1pm performance.  The center itself covers 42 acres, so that gives you an idea of how far we had to speed-walk!



We arrived just as they were starting the show. Thankfully there was covered seating.



The performance was spectacular, from the drumming, to the dancing by both the female and male performers.  It's definitely entertaining for people of all ages.







They even taught us a couple of their dance moves!


After the 30 minute performance was over, we had the opportunity to learn more about the Cook Islands through their handouts and cultural demonstrations. 



The Cook Islands is comprised of 15 islands in the South Pacific.  Rarotonga (pictured below) is the most populated of all islands, and where the international airport is located. There is one non-stop flight between Los Angles and Rarotonga once a week.  It's a 10 hour flight.  Otherwise, you have to fly into New Zealand and then catch another flight from New Zealand to Rarotonga.



The art displays hands-on demonstrations are always fun to watch. My boys were too shy to participate...







After spending time at the Cook Islands exhibit, we were hoping to take a canoe ride, but when this canoe arrived at the landing, we were told the canoes were going to get prepped for the canoe pageant at 2:30.  



It turned out to be a blessing because we ended up taking a leisurely walk through some of the other villages at PCC (there are 6 villages in total).





At about 2:15 pm, we took a seat in the stands and waited for the start of the canoe pageant. We bought some ice cream to cool off while we were waiting.


Promptly at 2:30, the canoe pageant started.  The canoes came through one by one.  Each island had its own canoe and performed a dance representative of their culture.








There were a lot of activities that we missed out on (like the canoe tours, Hawaiian Journey Movie Experience, Laie Tram Tour, and the other cultural demonstrations and activities in the villages). We will have to save those experiences for our next visit!

The Cook Island showcase is open from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm through August 24, 2017.  Here is the daily schedule:

1:00 p.m.    Main Cultural Presentation
1:30 p.m.    Activities
1:55 p.m.    Main Cultural Presentation
3:05 p.m.    Main Cultural Presentation
3:30 p.m.    Activities
4:00 p.m.    Main Cultural Presentation

General Admission:
Adults: $59.95
Children (4 -11): $47.96
Kamaaina pricing available

Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center website for more information.

I would like to extend a big mahalo to our sponsor for providing us with complimentary admission tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Highway
1-800-367-7060
Monday - Saturday: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Sunday: Closed



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