Hawaii Mom Blog






October 16, 2019

Pink Afternoon Tea & Macadamia Nuts at The Kahala

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is offering a special "Pink" Afternoon Tea Service at The Veranda on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, as well as offering pink, strawberry-flavored, chocolate-covered mac nuts!

Special desserts in the tea service include cream puffs with pink chocolate flowers, decadence with pink garnish, coconut macaroons dipped in pink chocolate. The lilikoi tart will be replaced this month with guava chiffon. The Royal tea service includes a glass of champagne with a strawberry, and the Imperial Tea Service includes a half pound box of The Kahala’s signature milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

The Royal Tea Service is $60, Imperial Tea Service is $80 and strawberry-flavored macadamia nuts are $32 per half pound box.

A portion of the proceeds from the pink tea service and macadamia nuts sales will benefit the Susan Koman Race for a Cure Foundation.

For tea reservations contact restaurants@kahalaresort.com or 808 739 8760; Pink macadamia nuts can also be purchased at The Kahala’s retails shops or ordered by emailing kahalaboutique@kahalaresort.com or calling 808 739 8907.
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Visit San Francisco: Bike Rentals at Sports Basement

Over the weekend, I biked across the Golden Gate Bridge with some friends.  My friend parked her van at Crissy Field and we yelped for bike rentals nearby.  Sports Basement was just a short walk away so we headed there.  I was a little worried since we didn’t have a rental reservation, but they had plenty of bike inventory at the shop.  

You can rent the bikes for up to 3 hours or for the full day.  We only had time to bike across the bridge and back so we opted for the 3 hour rental.  The staff working in the bike department are great.  They were patient with all our questions and then quickly got us fitted for our bikes and gave us instructions on how to use the gears.  The bikes come with a lock and a pouch to store your belongings if you need one.  We secured our helmets and were on our way.  

We lucked out as it was a beautiful and clear day on the bridge.  We were there during Fleet Week so we got to see the planes flying overhead practicing for their show!     

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Body Balance Honolulu Free Trial Class and 6-Pack Class Giveaway

Nat had a chance to experience Body Balance twice, and our readers have a chance to experience a class for free, as well as enter to win a 6-pack of classes!  

Free Class: 
bodybalancehonolulu.org, click on "BUY" at the top of their homepage, look for "First Class" in the Class Packages section, and click the "BUY" button. Create an account (or log into your account if you already have one), use the code “MYTIMEFORME” when prompted, and your first class is on the house

One lucky winner will receive a 6-pack of classes at Body Balance!  Visit Hawaii Mom Blog on Instagram to enter.  
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The Veranda at The Kahala Hotel & Resort

During our (too quick) staycay at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, we had dinner at The Veranda, a casual, family-friendly spot that still offers a level of food and service that you'd find in most fine dining restaurants.

Cured Meats & Cheese Board

Kahala Pupu Platter

Mixed Kula Green Salad
The Kahala Pupu Platter consisted of Chicken Wings, Calamari, Wok-Fried Soft Shell Crab, and Soy Braised Short Rib & Avocado Tempura.  I really liked the tempura!

And it's hard to go wrong with a Meat & Cheese platter.  It was a nice variety of meats and cheeses, and even my kids dug in!

A kids menu is offered, and I must say, I was quite envious of the keiki meals!
Wagyu Burger & Fries

Bolognese Pasta with Crimini Mushrooms & Parmesan

Grilled Catch of the Day
 Of course we couldn't leave without dessert!
Assorted Ice Cream

Hoku's Warm Chocolate Coulant

Chocolate and vanilla ice creams were served atop a pizelle cookie and accompanied by fruits.

The Chocolate Coulant was rich and decadent, and I loved the caramel ice cream that was served along with it.  It was a perfect match!

Service was a bit hurried, but still very friendly and accommodating.  

The Veranda
The Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816

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October 15, 2019

Body Balance Honolulu Review and Giveaway Announcement

Complimentary class was provided by our sponsor. All opinions are my own.

As a daughter, wife, and mother of soon-to-be 6 year old twin boys, I value 'ME' time. Since I work full time in town, it's hard to find time just for myself, to do what I love. And when I do find the time, I try to make the best of it. 

One of the things I like to do when I do have 'ME' time is work out. I love running, and I love to lift weights - it just makes me feel better, more balanced, and in turn, that enables me to be a better daughter, wife, and mom.  

I also like to take group exercise fitness classes, but they're just not as convenient for me as before.

Many places require that you go down early to sign up for classes (or a bike), set up equipment, and be in a large room with 30 other people fighting for personal space.  In a large class, you don't get a lot of personal attention, or personal space.

But then I was recently introduced to Body Balance Honolulu, a small boutique studio in Kaka'ako, courtesy of Yelp, and I liked it so much, that when one of the owners of Body Balance invited me back to try another class, I said "absolutely!" with no hesitation at all.  You will see why, as I walk you through my experience.

They gave me my choice of class, and it was such a hard decision to make, because I wanted to try them all. What makes Body Balance different from other boutique workout studios in Hawaii is that they offer a variety of group fitness classes in different disciplines - indoor cycling (Body Cycle), pilates reformer, HIIT, TRX, FITBarre, plyometrics, and weightlifting.  Some classes just have one discipline (such as BodyCycle which is 45 minutes of indoor rhythm-based cycling), some classes are a combination of two or more (such as Ride & Rip, which is 30 minutes of BodyCycle, and 30 minutes of strength training).

I wanted to try a class that incorporated both cardio and strength training, so I signed up for Ride & Rip with Maxine.  Signing up for classes is easy - just create an account on their website (if you haven't done so already), and reserve your spot. For classes that include BodyCycle, you get to select your bike when you reserve our spot.   I love how you can reserve  your spot in classes (and your bike) ahead of time, because at many other fitness studios or gyms, you have to go early to sign up for classes, and if you don't  get there in time, you're out of luck.

I showed up 15 minutes before the scheduled start time to check-in, get my cycling shoes (you can bring your own or rent them from the studio for $3), and make the necessary adjustments on my assigned bike (seat and handle-bar height). Don't know how to secure the bike shoes into the clips or adjust your bike? No worries - the Body Balance staff members and instructors are there to help. Some of the other class attendees are willing to help too, which is what I also liked about this studio - everyone was so friendly!

Then we embarked on our 30 minute ride, full of sprints, hills, and even some upper body work (push ups on the handle bars). It didn't take long for me to work up a sweat and get my heart rate up.  What I like about indoor cycling is that it's always MY ride, and I can make it as hard or easy as I want it to be. With the lights going on and  off like at a nightclub, and our legs pumping to the beat of the music, it was both fun and challenging at the same time.

After 30 minutes of sweating on the bike, we left the cycle room to the multi-purpose room.  To my surprise, the room was already set up for the class - all we had to do was choose a mat. 

Maxine wasted no time in putting us to work.  First up - arms!

Shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps, and back ....

 Moving on to the legs ...

My legs were on fire since we had just put them through 30 minutes of cycling!

If you have never used a hip circle resistance band before, you're in for a real treat. It really works your booty!

The final segment worked our abs/core ....

After our 60 minute sweat session was over, Maxine hung around to chat with us - she was so approachable and friendly. I really got the feeling that I was part of a community here at Body Balance, and not just a guest.

Check out the highlights from my workout!

Did you like what you see? You're in luck! Body Balance is inviting our blog readers to come down to the studio and experience a class for free!   All you need to do is visit their website at bodybalancehonolulu.org, click on "BUY" at the top of their homepage, look for "First Class" in the Class Packages section, and click the "BUY" button. Create an account (or log into your account if you already have one), use the code “MYTIMEFORME” when prompted, and your first class is on the house!

Trust me, after just one class, you'll be wanting to come back for more. On their website, you can buy a single class, or a 6-pack, 12-pack, or 24-pack of classes (these are perfect for those who cannot come down on a regular basis but still want to drop in for classes when their schedule allows), or you can become a monthly member.  Private and semi-private training sessions are also available.

GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT: Check Hawaii Mom Blog's post on Instagram tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16, 2019 for details on how to enter to win a 6-pack of classes!

Body Balance Honolulu
1019 Waimanu Street
(808) 542-9597

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Goma Tei - Kahala Mall

Even though I enjoy Goma Tei's ramen, I usually order non-ramen items when I dine there.

I was recently at the Kahala Mall location, and I ordered Chicken Tatsutaage, and asked for Ginger Sauce on the side.

Chicken Tatsutaage
The ginger sauce actually goes really well with the chicken wings too.  If you love ginger sauce and fried chicken, try it! 

Back when I worked at Aloha Airlines, a nearby restaurant at one of our office locations would have a secret "Aloha Special" - fried chicken wings + ginger sauce, that was a huge hit amongst employees. 

I love that Goma Tei has a Keiki Ramen, which is very reasonably priced.
Keiki Ramen
One of my kids wanted to eat curry instead, so luckily they also offer an add-on Mini Curry Rice as an option if you order an entree (it's a pretty generous serving!).
Mini Curry Rice

Tan Tan Ramen

Service was great, and you can be sure I'm getting chicken and ginger sauce again the next time I'm at Goma Tei!

Goma Tei 
Kahala Mall
4211 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 732-9188

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Visit Omaha: Marks Bistro

Our last dinner in Omaha was at the upscale, yet cozy and kid-friendly Marks Bistro.

Their signature dish is the Macaroni & Cheese!

Macaroni & Cheese
Cavatappi pasta is combined with cheddar, Asiago, havarti, and bleu cheeses, and is topped off with a Parmesan-panko crust. 
Snack Mac
 A Snack Mac size is also available (there is no kids menu, so this dish is perfect for kids!).
Bistro Tots
If you love tater tots, you must try Marks' housemade tots, which are served with a Gouda fondue.  The huge tots were pillowy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
Bavette Steak & Frites
Tomato-dusted fries were topped with steak, a red wine butter sauce, crimini mushrooms, and onions.  Talk about elevated fries!
Lobster & Bay Scallop Risotto
I love risotto, and this dish did not disappoint.  It was rich and creamy, and I loved the addition of the seafood!
Grilled Cheese
The Grilled Cheese consisted of Havarti, Parmesan, and Brie.

Service was really good, and we had a really nice meal at Marks!

Marks Bistro
4916 Underwood Ave
Omaha, NE 68132
(402) 502-2203
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