Did you know I moved? Don’t worry, I instragrammed it.

I’ve been away for a while. Life has been extra busy here in my home. My husband and I did something crazy and moved our family. I’m no longer in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Moving has been quite the ordeal. It took us 3 months of planning, purging, and packing to get us on our way. Luckily, I’ve jumped on the instagram bandwagon and tried as much as possible to document our move.

Our family has moved many times, so I’ve developed a talent for packing. I have to say that this was the most challenging, but you know me, I never back down from a challenge. By the morning of our flight, I had 14 bags packed and 10 carry-ons ready to go, we were on our way.

Along with the exhaustion of packing, emotions ran high with saying good-byes to wonderful and dear friends and family. Hawaii has been a wonderful place, where my kids learned to love where they are from and who they are.

Hawaii will always be our home.

Where have we taken our family?

 

Back to the desert. I know, it’s crazy. I think living away from Hawaii, causes us though to have more pride and appreciation in where we are from. We are always asked to share our talents that are unique to the islands when we are on the mainland. In fact, my daughter and I are performing for a luau during the Christmas season. Good times.

Hawaii will still be a part of this blog. Especially now that I’m an island girl in the desert.

CHEAP and FUN things to do in Hawaii (Part II)

It’s another week, and with that, I’ve brought  you another 5 things you can do while you visit Hawaii. I should clarify, that these things are specifically for the island of O’ahu. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Rent a STAND UP PADDLE BOARD (SUPD) and practice at Waimea Bay. Please be aware that this is strictly a summertime activity. In the wintertime, the waves are mundo huge and two things will happen if you try to SUPB. One—- you will die. Second —— you will die.  Glad I cleared that up for you. During the summer, Waimea is like a glass lake. The bay will be calm, which is perfect for SUPB, and I can almost guarantee that you will come across dolphins and sea turtles.

One more thing to clarify, that is NOT me on the board.

2. Visit Kualoa Ranch, famous site of movie and TV shootings including Lost and Jurassic Park. They have a few activities there that won’t break the bank, including horse back riding and a visit to Secret Beach that itself is filled with many activities, including SUPB.

If you opt for the visit to Secret Beach, the people at Kualoa Ranch take you on a boat to get there.

3.   Valley of the Temples Memorial Park has a hidden Japanese Temple called Byodo-In Temple. It’s a great site to see, very mystical. This location has been featured in famous TV shows such as Magnum P.I., as well as a quick scene in the movie Pearl Harbor. It really is a quite a beautiful place, with peacock walking around and the ponds are filled with carp. The entry fee is very inexpensive, between $2-$3 per person, depending whether you are a child or an adult.

My only caution would be to wear long pants. There are some areas of the grounds that have lots of mosquitoes.

4. On your circle island tour of O’ahu, make sure to stop at Turtle Beach to catch the sea turtles sun bathing. It’s fun to see, especially when there’s more than one of them. Often times, when you are at the beach, if you are watching carefully from shore, you can see them come up for air out in the water.

Just be aware though, that the sea turtles are a protected species. It is against the law to even touch them. Most times there are volunteers at the beach that put markers around the turtles, so that people keep their distance.

5.   Visit the Mighty Mo!! Your kids, as well as yourself will love exploring this battleship from WW II. The Mighty Mo isn’t just any battleship. It is the site where WW II ended. There are tour guides that will take you to different parts of the ship, explaining the history behind it all. It is magnificent to see and hear the stories.

Check out the guns on this ship. Awesome!

There are more places to show . . . stay tuned.

 

Cheap and Fun Things to Do in Hawaii Series (Part I)

After living in Hawaii for many years, I’ve been asked by friends who come to visit, where should I go? What do you recommend doing while in Hawaii?

I’ve made a list. When you live in Hawaii, money is tight (it’s the price we pay for paradise). So the list I’ve come up with are things I’ve done with my kids that were cheap, free and fun. You should however know though that this list is specifically for the island of O’ahu.

1. Boogie boarding at the beach. There are a few that are beginner friendly, with Wakiki Beach being one of them. There are others on the North Shore as well — Castles is my favorite.

2. Spending the day at the Honolulu Zoo.

3. Hiking the many trails we have here on O’ahu: Diamond Head, Manoa Falls, Laie Falls. There are a so many more to choose from. Just be sure to go when the weather is good. Rainy weather equals flash flooding, and since many of these trails are in the mountains, there’s always that danger. When the weather is great, take a camera because the sights are breathtaking!

4.   Shave-ice in Haleiwa. The famous spot is Matsumoto’s, but there is usually a long line. Their neighbor Aoki’s has great shave-ice as well. If you’re adventurous, ask them to add AZUKI BEANS and ICE-CREAM to the bottom,  and top it off with SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK & WHIPPED CREAM. Ummmmm . . . I think I need to get one of these after lunch today.

5.   Visit the AZ Memorial and the Mighty Mo. Many great history lessons learned and new found appreciations realized for those who serve our country.

I can’t pick a favorite from this short list. They are all fun and neat things to do, during your visit here in the Aloha State. Stay tuned next Tuesday for my next 5 Cheap and Fun Things to do in Hawaii.

Me Personally: Where I’ve been, What I’ve been doing, Where am I going . . . what does it all mean?

I know. I’ve been gone a while. I had a hard time coming back. I would picture things in my head the way I wanted to see it on my blog and would kind of give up. Anyone else with that problem? I decided to just do what I can, and go with it, otherwise, I’d never blog.

So, with that said, here’s what I’ve been up to, that I plan on sharing more of in the coming days, weeks, and beyond.

I ran a 5K, a week before Mother’s Day. Put together a video that will show you I’m not lying when I say I’m sloooooooooooww. It may give you non-runners out there some confidence.

Played a lot with this guy. I blinked and now look at him. He’s trying to blink to see if the same thing happens with me. Sorry. I’m still the same.

Made some cinnamon biscuits one morning. I’ll have the recipe up soon.

This time with geocaching, I did the hiding. It’s harder than you think to try and hide something well.

For Memorial Day, we hung out with this guy. PCC is such a fun place. I’ll have more pictures to share on my Aloha Friday posts.

Things like me trying to show off my mad poi ball skills to my kids. I’ll post more on that, when I get over the embarrassment of this picture. Ok. I’m over it.

There you have it.

Well, at least some of it.

 

With my boy growing and his ever improving of both gross and fine motor skills, I find myself constantly occupied with moving things away and up high. It’s made taking pictures for recipes a little challenging, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I must adapt until he understands things better. That means, my posts for recipes at least, will probably be a little more condensed. That might be a good thing. Adaptation is always key when being a mother, at least for me. Otherwise, frustration sets in, followed by a lot of other negative feelings.

So, with keeping things on a positive note, I’ll be busy documenting my adventures on my ever-evolving website. We’ll be doing many things here on our part of this island: camping, fishing, hiking, sewing, cooking, and other things. Hope you’ll keep coming back to see what the BUSY summer that we have.

CONTEST GIVEAWAY!! —-WINNER ANNOUNCED!

Sorry for the delay! I was out and about last night and just forgot about announcing the winner. I was a little worried maybe that the picture would be too hard to guess. If you’re still wondering what is on the end of that fishing line it is an

EEL.

The eel wrapped itself around the fishing line as we were pulling it out. We did have someone who guessed correctly!

CONGRATULATIONS IWA!! YOU GUESSED RIGHT. YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE $25 GIFT CARD FROM AMAZON.COM.

Please email me at malie@thebusycoconut.com to redeem your prize.

Thank you everyone for playing!!

It seems like we had fun last time we played this game. So I thought we’d play again.

Here’s a little background to the picture. We went fishing with my dad when he visited us a while ago. We pulled up some interesting things from the ocean. This was one of them. The game is pretty simple. Here are the rules:

1. Leave your guess in the comments section below. No one will be able to see your answer. Only one guess per person.

2. If more than one person guesses correctly, they will be automatically put into the drawing for the prize.

3. Contest will end on Saturday, March 10th, 2012 at 5pm (Hawaii Standard Time). The winner will be announced later that evening.

In case you’re wondering the prize will be a $25 gift card for Amazon.com.

GOOD LUCK!!

Snack Time – Local Style

On President’s Day, my coconuts and I were at the mall, you know, cause it’s so American to be at the mall. While we were there, I ran into a local store here we call Marukai. It’s a store filled with items from Japan as well as local things. One thing they have that we were checking out were the snacks. On the islands, we do snack time a little different. Here are just a few of them.

Iso peanuts is a snack that reminds me of my early childhood days many centuries ago. Basically, this snack is a peanut encased in a crunchy, cracker shell that is a little sweet.

We use a lot of seaweed in our snacks in Hawaii. Arare (arra-rrey), also known as Mochi Crunch, is a big favorite here. The seaweed cracker is eaten by itself, but a very popular way to eat it, is by putting it in your popcorn. They call that hurricane popcorn. I personally will eat mochi crunch once in a while. The only draw back is you get what is known, at least in my family, as “mochi crunch breath”. You have to experience it to know what I’m talking about. And those of you who’ve exprienced this are nodding your heads right now.

Just as a side note, we like to use a lot red dye in our snacks. Don’t judge.

You know how when you think of eating something that is a little sour and it makes your salivary glands rev up. Yeah? This is a snack that does that just by thinking of it —– Li Hing Mui. Li hing is a red, sweet powder that we put on a lot of pickled items, one of them being plums, which is what this is. These are a dry version of the plums. Usually when you eat it, you lick all the powder off, then work on the “skin”. When you’re done, you’re left with a seed. You can buy these in a seedless version.

Here’s a snack that many love, including my children. I’m not sure why, but to each his own, right. My kids love this stuff. It’s dried up cuttlefish. It does smell fishy when you open the package, but my kids, like a lot of the local kids here, Eat – it  – up! Maybe one day I’ll try it . . . maybe.

Here are a couple of other items I found in the snack section that I found very interesting. I think these are more native to Japan because you don’t usually find these items in a local snack shop store. So if you can’t tell by my instagram picture, it’s a package of small crabs.

This one is a package of dried octopus tentacles. Why not?! I’m sure it’s like beef jerky. I’m sure some foreign visitor sees beef jerkey and wonders why we would put meat in stick form.

There are so many more snacks that we eat here in Hawaii, which is why I have a hard time losing weight here.

All this talk of snacks is making me hungry. Excuse me while I go find some pretzels.