Monday, April 30, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Waimea Valley

It's Aloha Friday! Here is some inspiration for your weekend, pictures I took a few weeks ago up in Waimea Valley. This former playground of Hawaiian chiefs is now a botanical garden. Don't sit at home this weekend, go on a hike!

The stream ends in Waimea Bay 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What can you do with your old surfboards?

Surfing is a popular sport in Hawaii - most families own a surfboard or two. So it is no surprise that there is also an abundance of old boards that can be found here. In this garden, on the beach in Waimanalo, the old boards were used for a privacy fence. 

A view of the beach from the deck

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Great Top - Four Ways

Being lucky enough to not only know, but to be friends with the very talented Jodi Salmonson of Martinique Resortwear, I am the happy owner of her newest design, a lovely brown and aqua sheer top, with mother-of-pearl accents. 

Since most things in my closet are of the brown variety, this top seems to go with practically everything I own.  So this morning I spent a fun hour styling my new possession. I have created four outfits, all of them featuring the Martinique top.  Which one is your favorite?

#1. Dress: Zara, tights: H&M, shoes: Dollhouse,
bracelet: from Germany.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Last week I visited a wonderful place in Waimanalo. The property itself will be the topic of a later blog entry, but today I wanted to show you about some of the great doors I saw there.

Few things can be as intriguing as a closed door, or as inviting as an open one. Most doors look drab and dull, when they could be colorful, ornate and exciting. Would you rather open a boring off-white door or one of the beauties below?  

Copper ornamentation 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Whole Foods Kailua

We had to wait for what seems like an eternity (though it was only about four years), but finally Whole Foods Market Kailua has opened its doors.  I could not help myself and visited the first day. There were extreme crowds, of course, yet I managed to spend a happy half-hour shopping and emerged $120 poorer.  The second day they were open (yesterday), somehow I found myself there again, this time accompanying a friend.  We ordered a sandwich to share for lunch and while we were waiting I took these pictures.  There was again quite the crowd so I mostly tried to shoot over people's heads.  

The store is beautiful with lots of local touches.  Many Hawaii products too, and nice produce, though I think I will keep visiting the neighboring Thursday night market for that.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

United Nude

United Nude is a shoe and accessories company started in 2003 by Rem Koolhaas, a Dutch architect, and Galahad Clark, an English shoe maker. Starting with one design, the Mobius, the band has grown steadily over the years and today you can find United Nude in over 40 countries.  

Their shoes are beautiful, sculptural and unique.  Here are some examples from their current collection. I would love to wear any of them!

Elastic Remix Hi $280

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Color in the Garden

As promised, here are some more pictures of my visit to Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kaneohe.  While the gardens are a lush green color, pops of red, pink and yellow can be found.  Here are some of the flowers of Ho'omaluhia. The first three and last picture are of heliconias. Unfortunately I have no idea what the other two flowers are.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens

Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens are located in Kaneohe, Hawaii.  Four hundred rolling acres on Windward Oahu, the gardens were designed for flood protection, and include a 32-acre lake.  The name Ho'omaluhia means "peaceful refuge", and this garden lives up to its name, with dense tropical forest alternating with open expanses and majestic views of the Ko'olau Mountains.  It is home to many endangered and rare tropical plants.

To find out more about visiting this gem of a place, go to

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Today I was feeling Aqua. Aqua/mint is a popular color this spring, 
and Hawaii is the perfect place for it. From beach glass to the color
of the ocean aqua inspirations abound here.

Are you a fan of this color too? 
Go ahead, get yourself some minty/aqua goodness!

Image by Polyvore

Hina Lily

Hina Lily is our Weimaraner. She is four years old.  Hina means gray in Hawaiian, thus the name.  My very talented photographer friend, Andi Lilikoi Gaspar has taken these pictures of her on Wednesday.  Hina Lily is wearing a necklace I made. She is quite the model, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

At the Ranch

It is Wednesday, and I am about to go to Waimanalo, to Malu'Olu Ranch. Both my daughter Rhiannon and I ride here.  I have been trying to take pictures of the horses but they do not make that task easy! Here are a few photos I took yesterday.

Kula, the sweet palomino I ride

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ka'ena Point

Today's topic is something I have been meaning to write about since I started this blog. As you all know, 2012 is a leap year. Since the powers that be have given us February 29th, my friend Melanie did not let us spend this "extra day" without having some fun.  She organized a hike out to Ka'ena Point, at the very end of the world-famous North Shore.  It was a brilliant idea, and a perfect way to spend a leap day!  

Ka'ena Point is about as far removed from civilization as you can get on the island of O'ahu. There are two ways to access it. We hiked it from the Mokule'ia side. It is about 2.5 miles  from where the paved road ends, and you can either follow the dirt road or wander along the rocky shore. At the end of the road there is a fence and gate which you have to walk through in order to access the Ka'ena Point Natural Area Reserve. Seabirds nest and Hawaiian monks seals rest in this protected corner of paradise. 

You can see the coast line from the dirt road

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Three Lanikai Lovelies - Part 3.

As promised, here is the final entry on our Thursday Lanikai open house tour.  This is the last property we visited, and I liked it best. Mostly because of the amazing views of the Mokuluas. The asking price is $1,950 000; definitely not a bargain, but of course the view is priceless. The house has a 3/2 upstairs and a 2/2 downstairs, making it a great multi-generational dwelling.

View from the large upstairs terrace

Friday, April 6, 2012

Three Lovelies of Lanikai - Part 2.

As promised, here are the pictures of the second place we saw yesterday. This house was built in 1935, and immaculately restored by the owner who is also an architect.  I took quite a few photos of this property, because not only did it have many interesting architectural details, it was also beautifully staged. I wish realtors would spend more time in and thought in staging homes.  It really makes a difference.

 Gecko bell greets visitors at the gate

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Three Lovelies of Lanikai - Part 1.

It is Thursday again, time to accompany Debbie to some open houses.  Today we saw three great properties - all in Lanikai, an upscale beach community in Kailua.  What all three places had in common is great views of the beach and the Mokulua Islands. This pair of small islands off the coast of Oahu can be visited by renting a kayak, but that will have to be the topic of another blog post.

Today I share some pictures of the first property. It is a 3 bedroom 3 bath home, with a nice size yard.

Outrigger canoe on the welcome sign by the entry

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Last night I went out to dinner with my friends at Prima.  This was my first time at this relatively newly-opened restaurant, so I thought a review is in order.  Prima is located near Foodland in Kailua town. They have both indoor and outdoor seating.  We chose to sit outside, and liked it, even though it looked directly at the parking lot. I was not too impressed by the decor, bland modern restaurant look.  

The food, however, was very good.  We have tried quite a few items on the menu, and while the portions are tiny, most of the dishes were excellent.  My three favorites were:

Maitake mushroom, pickled hon shimeji, cremini, cauliflower puree

 Fennel Panna Cotta, fennel stem marmalade, coffee salt

Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekend on Kauai

As I am writing this, I am sitting at home nursing a mild sunburn.  No matter how long you have lived in the tropics, and how aware and vigilant you are about sunscreen, spending two whole days in the sun will do a number on your skin.  I normally avoid being outside for too long, and try to limit my sun exposure time to mornings and evenings.  A dip in the pool in the middle of the day is ok, but you would never find me lounging by the pool, working on a tan.  Except for this past weekend.  

Though the intention was not acquiring a tan (or rather a sunburn); it is definitely a casualty of our lovely weekend getaway to the Grand Hyatt on the Garden Isle of Kauai. With its many pools, streams, lagoons, waterfalls and a long water slide, it is impossible to stay at this hotel and not want to spend the whole day poolside. Since we have been to The Garden Isle on other occasions, we did not have the need to explore, and could focus all our energies on relaxation.

Kauai is a half-hour plane ride from Honolulu, but a world away in terms of quiet and peace.  The Grand Hyatt, a truly grand resort is located on the south side of the island.  

The view from our room

One of the many parrots around the property