Merry Christmas! I’m full term!

Yup, folks I’m full term so pretty much any day now baby can have a go at entering the world. My thoughts maybe a bit scattered at the moment and my posts may seem a bit unfinished but I wanted to write as much as possible before D-Day. These maybe my last posts before baby arrives! (I’ve literally drafted dozens of posts but am a bit slow about my edits and publishing it so there maybe a glut of them coming up soon!)

So far I have to admit I am truly enjoying my pregnancy, all the health issues aside. The morning sickness had me losing close to 21 lbs so I am back at my normal weight +3lbs this week. I am thankful my gestational diabetes was diagnosed early on which helped me better control my intake of sweets cause I can literally sit around and eat dessert all day. Downside is that my OB may want to induce if I go too far past my due date, something about placental degeneration??? If anyone has any thoughts or ideas on it please do share. Fingers crossed it won’t come to that since I am determined to have this baby as naturally as possible.

As much as I want baby to come join David and I, its so much fun to feel him kicking, punching, wiggling, and nudging about in my belly. Dave and I celebrated our Christmas a little early by exchanging gifts a few days ago and have begun to enjoy them ASAP! Me with my Kitchen Aid Mixer which is allowing me to bake, bake, bake, and bake! Dave is getting as much surfing and basketball as he can and with his new GoPro video taping his surfing escapades.

I think I am getting Braxton-Hicks contractions but to be quite honest I’m not even sure what they feel like or what I have to look out for. My doc, friends, family, and research states it makes the tummy harden and if I change position it will go away. Well I think my tummy is plenty hard, thank you, but when I get up to walk during its occurrence it stops so I guess its not the real thing. I have no experience with it but pretty sure if I’m in labor I’d know.

Thanksgiving is generally a time to give thanks but I think Christmas is the best time to truly appreciate what you have and what you need/don’t need in my life. Of all the things I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life, the one thing I am most grateful for is my husband. He genuinely is the best kindest, most generous, supportive, and fun person in my life. Not to say he is flawless but I will take him anytime, any day, any occasion flaws and all. Especially since we’ve moved to Hawaii, when at first we had no one but each other, I knew it wouldn’t be a problem because all I really needed was him. Now that we are having a baby, I can’t imagine going through this wondrous life event with anyone else.


Thanks so much babe for tirelessly taking care of me, loving me, and most of all being my very best friend! Thanks for taking me through all the stages of our pregnancy, I not sure I could have done it without you. You and your tireless hands massaging me daily (yes I said daily, he is a CHAMP!!!!), making burmese food when I craved it even though he had no idea what he was cooking or how it should taste, and simply telling me I look beautiful each day! Thanks babe! Thanks for also being my diligent photographer chronicling the pregnancy!

Pictures from left to right: Week 19, Week 22, Week 24, Week 26, Week 29, Week 30, Week 32, Week 33, Week 35 (looking back on the progression … boy do I look pregnant now! Note to self, grow out hair once more!)

Mele Kalikimaka everyone! Next stop New Years and Baby!!!!

Oh “Nesting” Creations!

Just in case you folks think I’ve been slacking the past few months I’d like to inform you that I am not! I am in fact brewing up a baby! hahahaha All kidding aside not sure if I’ve hit my “nesting” stage but something is happening for sure. For those of you who don’t know what that is its generally a time in which an expectant mother starts a frenzy of activity akin to that of a bird who is ready to nest. Some of the symptoms include cleaning house, organizing house, cooking, buying all sorts of baby stuff and just downright getting ready for baby’s imminent arrival. Well of those mentioned I’m basically just doing one thing … cooking! Yup, I know, weird right but then again is it really??? My passion now and always is cooking. So I’ve been experimenting with a lot of interesting new recipes.

Since becoming diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes very early on my one obsession during pregnancy is injecting more protein/less carbohydrates into everything I make. And generally over run with the desire to  make everything myself! This includes the following fun items:

1) Pickling – cucumbers, jalapenos, daikon, and carrots (cuase I am semi freaked out about the use of aspartame, dyes, preservatives, and sulfates)

2)Hot sauce – the vietnames restaurants have this amazing hot sauce but I am not 100% certain what they put in there and as much as I love Sriracha its got sulfites (although I must confess I still eat it occasionally)

3) Pancakes made with Greek Yogurt and flax

4) Chocolate Walnut Oatmeal Whole Wheat Cookies with flax and chia seeds (oh yeah I like to throw in the kitchen sink when I cook) and yes they are baby cookies, cause that’s how hubby likes to roll!


5) Homemade Jam and Jellies (so far only pineapple and cranberry, and not the  best photo but it’ll do …)



6) Turkey meatloaf with Quinoa

You name it I have obsessively started making it. Next stop my own biscotti! One day recipes will follow but for now just so happy being creative. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of all the creating but next time I’ll be sure to remember to snap a pic!

I’ve also obsessively begun making food and freezing it, so far my fridge has some marinara sauce, aloo gobi, and chili and turkey to tie us over for a few weeks. Boy oh boy I cannot wait for baby to make his way into the world and eat with Dave and I!

Aloha for Three …

I must admit this must be the longest I’ve gone without writing but I will strive to do better henceforth. This time I had a really good reason for dropping off the “literary blog” map and boy oh boy is it a good one! If you’re sharp, you may have deduced from the title of the post the latest development in our lives.  Yup, I’ve got a bun in the oven.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute. For the last couple of weeks (months) I wondered how I should spread the word so to speak and explain my much too long hiatus.  In truth I began drafting this post 3 months ago back early July and have literally gone through dozens of edits to say the least. But it gets harder as each week past and the longer I waited to post the more I wondered how old the news was getting. I recently went home to New York and told no one save family and a few friends and opted to just show up to outings with my belly That did the trick! At that point there was no hiding it quite literally, which is how I feel about this post as well … high time I suppose that I wrote! It has been 6 long months and counting since I last posted anything and boy do I have a whole bunch of posts to write. Fine, fine, let’s be frank its been longer than 6 months. I had a trip to Maui that I have yet to post and an innumerable amount of food I’ve experimented with and restaurants I’ve tried that have gone on the back burner.

I will endeavor to write more posts (lets be honest, mostly random thoughts that run through my mind) but may now concentrate a little on my pregnancy experiences. I am sure its old news to most of you what with babies of your own but hey I figure sharing is caring and knowledge is power. So here’s to my little Aloha.


Photo circa week 22

Stage and Amuse Wine Bar

My new favorite friday night hang out happens to be Amuse Wine Bar, but let me start the story from the very beginning. A few weeks ago my previous Department Chair graciously offered to take all of us to Stage Restaurant. When I first saw the email and visited the website I was glad he offered to take us. As, I won’t lie, it seemed a bit pricy and I was super psyched to give it a go. We started off with some appetizers which consisted of a salad, poke and some calamari. Super yum! Sadly I did not think to take a photo of it till it was too late! I am no poke expert but gosh darn it that fresh ahi with yuzu olive oil and some awesome avocado was to die for. My main course of Misoyaki Salmon with Green tea soba … boy oh boy … excellence, say it with me in a french accent that’s how good it is. So good you best be whipping out any and all the french you know!


After such a lovely meal we opted for 4 desserts: Vietnamese Coffee Flan, Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, Brownie a la Mode, and Warm Pineapple Crisp. The yummiest of them all …

IMG_3057Warm yummy Nutella sauce, crumbled chocolate crunch and the yummiest coconut sorbet of them all! Its making my mouth water just seeing the photo … oh yeah it dun just look pretty its mighty heavenly.

Ok I digress, it appears as if I meant to write about the generous lunch, the joy we had bonding over these delectable eats, and the fun times had by all. Alright I meant to tell you all about Amuse Wine Bar … ok who knows where this post is going I seem to have zig zagged all over the place, its just one of those night when all my thoughts are jumbled but somehow I get the point across.

Finally, Amuse! You might wonder why I’m posting it together, maybe you won’t, but if your sharp you would have guessed that Amuse and Stage are located in the same building. In fact they are both housed in a furniture store. Oh yeah, I said it, FURNITURE STORE and its awesome!


Amuse is a wine bar like none I’ve ever been to before. You can go to the bar get a card filled with cash (go on Wednesday please, you get $50 worth for $30), insert said card into the wine dispenser and select the wine you wish.


Each push gives you one ounce and the cost varies depending on the vintage. Are they making a heck of a lot of money doing this … heck yeah! Will I go as often as possible?  No doubt!!!

Seeking WWII planes in Aiea

I’ve made a pact … it included some saliva, sweat, and a bit of blood … hahaha as if, I’m a big baby! No blood involved but saliva and sweat are not off limits! Fine fine it’s not even as serious as that, and ok maybe the pact made mainly with myself but it still counts!  Some friends and I have decided to hike as often as we can and I am loving it mostly because the hike comes with an awesome meal close by. Oh alright you caught me I do it mostly for the lunches we have after the hike but hey I participate in the hike first so its gotta count for something!

The first one we did was Diamond Head, a bit of an accident happenstance as we were trying for Koko Head. It was rained out so we opted for Diamond Head instead. I didn’t take any photos that day but am pretty sure its not the only time I will ever hike it and will have plenty of times to review it. I am fairly certain Diamond Head is the most popular hike on the island! But lets get back to track … Aiea Loop!

IMG_3050Early on a Saturday morning (well not so early but it was definitely before 10AM … I think) We meet up at Keaiwa Heiau State Park, a quick 15-20 minutes drive from Waikiki. Dave and I were extremely excited due to the fact that one of our friends told us there were downed Japanese fighter planes that can be seen from the trail! Its a simple 5 mile beginner loop and saying it was awe inspiring is an understatement! Leading us though bamboo forests, giant trees, and small shrubs …

IMG_3048The vines from the trees made natural staircases for us to climb over and the vista was absolutely breathtaking throughout the hike! Surprisingly we met a number of people who were running the trail and I wondered how they did it and if I could ever achieve that state. I literally had to watch the trail the whole time as I am  not the best at picking-up of my feet when I walk. I won’t lie, I am also a ginormous klutz. But one day … IMG_3049We were able to see Sand Island from one of the many places we stopped to enjoy the view. Finally at the half way point we feated out eyes on the Pali Highway when I finally realized … did I just climb one of the mountains I’ve seen on Lost? Verdict, maybe … I’m guessing yes since that’s pretty much what I see all around me. I am going to go with a YES cuase that’ll make me happy, ok. If you know for sure let me know! But shush it’ll be our secret if it isn’t …IMG_3045It was a bit cloudy that day but it was a magnificent sight to behold! There’s nothing like seeing the Pali cut through the glorious mountains with clouds over head and just a hint of blue skies visible … IMG_3047

Climbing over and under fallen trees, making sure we don’t trip over exposed roots, and enjoying the vista did not leave us much room to spot the fallen planes. IMG_3046We finished the hike at a leisurely pace and realized where did the planes go??? Texted our friend and found out she went about 4 years ago. As you can see from the foliage it may have simply grown over the ruins. This just makes me as determined as ever to do the hike again in search of the planes. Truth? I’ll hike it on any given day since it was so gosh darn enjoyable and finally filling my belly at Aiea Bowl didn’t hurt one bit!

Aiea Loop Train (5 miles round-trip)

Keaiwa Heiau State Park
99-1849 Aiea Heights Dr
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 483-2511

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin – Pork Chop Heaven

IMG_2473In search of an awesome piece of tonkatsu in Waikiki, then head straight to Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin where for $36 ( I won’t lie and I won’t save this hid the truth till the end …) you can order the Kurobuta Pork Loin Tonkatsu. Why is it so awesome you ask well apparently it’s flown in from Japan and you can have only 25 orders a day.

I am no tonkatsu expert but it was fairly delicious. The best part of the meal maybe grinding your own sesame seed for your tonkatsu sauce!



Note to self, the next time I am in Japan look for a wooden stick, heck what am I thinking I can probably save some time and money by simply going on a hike, picking up a decent size piece of wood, sanitizing the wood and using that. Ok maybe a reconsideration of my plans to go to Japan to get this may be in order!

IMG_2470Here’s my hubby working for his meal! Ain’t it cute … he had to work fairly hard though to grind the sesame seed into find powder but I think it may have been worth it ‘cuase the sauce came out super yum after adding the “sauce”! Dang it! I want that baby barrel spoon too … that maybe a bit more difficult to make …



I ended up having the plain old pork katsu and it was pretty good on to itself ($18), which came with a side of rice and some pickled veggies.

IMG_2477The friends I went with that day said it was one of the best tonkatsu’s ever but I am up for a second opinion any time. So if anyone happens to be in Waikiki and have a go at it, let me know what you think. Honestly its hard for me to spend $36 on a piece of fried pork no matter how delicious it is. Luckily for me my friends took us out. Thanks J&J!

One of the most awesome things served there … lychee sake. So dang delicious I’d go back for seconds, or thirds … after a few of these I may not mind getting that special pork chop after all!

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

255 Beachwalk  Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 926-8082


Punahou Festival

Ok I’m going to ‘fess up from the very beginning … the Punahou Festival occurred quite some time back. In fact it took place on February 1st and 2nd. It is an event that takes place annually on the grounds of the Punahou School  (oh yeah, its that fancy … so fancy it needs the “the”) the most prestigious private school in Oahu. At the time, my work place was a short 3 blocks away so most of us decided to head over there after work.

IMG_2828The sight that greeted us as we walked in …

IMG_2825Did it make us think of a New York Pizza? Hack yeah! But I must admit we were not desperate enough to try some instead we feast on some Teri Burgers and hand dipped ice creams while my cohorts had some hawaiian food, Teri burgers and fries and who can resist those fresh malasadas?!?!! Sadly no pictures of all the yummies exist, it went in out belly as soon as it reached our hands. But I can attest that they were quite delicous! After we feasted we had a fest!!!



Growing up in New York City did not provide me with a lot of chances to see a festival/fair/carnival? I am not even sure of what word to use to describe this fun fun event but I must admit it was fun fun fun! The lights, the sounds, the smells and the sights … priceless! The next thing I saw amazed me some what; you tell me if you’ve ever seen anything like this before …



The photo itself is not so clear but I would describe the ride as something akin to hand-gliding and looked mighty enjoyable. What we ended up playing were carnival games and what fun they were.




Best part we win goodies!!!


OK confession part 2, we did not win these awesome peace bananas but Dave sure wanted them. Our booty after at the end of the night: a baby giraffe, a baby bear and just hackie sack. Just enough goodies for our nieces! I can’t wait till next year!!!! If you happen to be in Oahu in the first week of February, look for thePunahou Festival. You’ll have fun I promise.


Shimazu Shaved Ice

On N School street off the H1 highway lies Shimazu Store which sells yummy shaved ice and a variety of snacks. I’m only tried their shaved ice so I cannot speak of the other goodies. They have a wide array of interesting flavors and toppings which barely fit on 4 large laminated signs. Some interesting flavors include Li Hing Pickle Mango, Creme Brûlée, Melon Bar, and a little something called Green River. What that may taste like I may never know since there are so many other flavors which pull at my heart strings.



When ordering you may request your desired size and toppings or extras. At Shimazu you may request up to 3 flavors per shaved iced order. The price is about average as far as shaved ices go but the sheer size may beat all!



Yup that order which I’m barely holding onto with both hands is a small! You heard me, that ginormous small child’s head-sized ice is a SMALL!!! To date I have yet to order anything larger than that but one day … I wanna be knocking on “The Larry’s” door.
IMG_2128As I enjoyed my green tea, red velvet creme and creme brûlée, I contemplated my options for next time as do my cohorts I’m sure.


Shimazu Store

330 N School St
Honolulu, HI 96817

In search of whales and a lighthouse

Sometimes I get a feeling that Dave and I are wayward travelers. So often we’re made wrong turns, u-turns, and turned into the wrong driveway. Such is how we began our Saturday last week as we took on the search for whales in Oahu.

I’ve been doing a great deal of research on a good site to see whales off the shore of Oahu. So far no luck. We tried Diamond Head Road, San Souci beach, blowhole overlook, and the North Shore. Last Saturday we thought hey let’s go to the Makapu’u lighthouse which has great elevation and an almost 270 view of the ocean.

We of course missed the entrance of the trail but thought we were in luck… Just 100 yard away was another entrance! We gleefully turned in and thought to ourselves wow easy parking! Woot woot!!! I should have known something was up when the following items came to light: 1)it appeared to be just an overlook, 2) there was a vertical rocky hilltop, 3) no trail and a bar acting as barrier between said overlook and hill. Fortunately we noticed a few people climbing up and 4 climbing down and figured no worries they did it should be a-ok!


Well here’s Dave at the beginning if our trail, still unsuspecting of what laid ahead. Shorts and slippers were the dress code of the day and this began our adventure. Fairly soon we realized maybe some sneakers may not have been amiss. I mean check out that hill(?), at some point I wondered if I can even call it a hill?! The other persons climbing had at least hiking boots and one I swear had chains attached to the bottom of her boots not unlike chains on a tire (notice the two itty bitty persons to the left of Dave). Well we were here… breathtaking no?!


And had to make it up, over, around, and down to there!


Do u see the lighthouse? Oh yeah! It was an adventure and I LOVED IT! This is the exact spot where I fell in love… with my Sanuks! Seriously newfound respect man! These babies took me up that hill. No slippage, no spills and no broken bones!


We finally asked one of the folks climbing up what this trail was and he enlightened us by saying oh this is no trail this is a UH class learning to read elevation, and searching for rare cacti! Oops… But boy oh boy did we climb and saw the most amazing cacti!!!


Apparently to see the blooming one is rare! What luck!  When we finally got to the top. We found this rectangular structure and decided to seek shade on the floor beside it.


Within the next 10-15 minutes we saw whales!!! Ok blow holes from a far but I was so impressed and super excited! Finally!!! Our quest to see whales from ashore was over … not quite over; but we did achieve our goal. And boy did we see a lot! We later realized we reached the pillbox hike. It was kinda interesting how things turn out. The Pillbox Hike is one of the many we wanted to try here in Oahu and boy I am glad we marched to the beat of our own drummer and reached it via a loopty loop. As we looked around we saw the hilltop dotted with many many of these structures, mostly rectangular and square in shape but one or two circular and oblong. I am not quite sure what these things were in their past life, but today inside these “pillboxes” were gorgeous works of art!

IMG_2739We enjoyed the rest of the day atop one of the “pillboxes” then decided not to risk life and limb attempting the climb down. Instead we walked down the nice long windy paved road towards the parking lot and realized who cares how we stumble upon these scenarios, we’re just glad we do! IMG_2697

Ono Pops – Super Delectable Popsicles!

One of my favorite discoveries at the KCC farmer’s market must be Ono Pops. Boy just thinking about them make my mouth water!


They are super delicious popsicles  which are handmade here in Hawaii of local and organic produce from Hawaii. Check out the amazing combos, I swear I think some could not possibly work but gosh darn it the taste is just sublime! My favorite is the Kula Strawberry and Maui Goat Cheese.


Unfortuantley I don’t have a photo of it since I literally ate it in seconds … I kid you not seconds … ok maybe it was 180 seconds but gosh darn it, it went in my belly so fast it felt like 5 seconds! The yummy tummy I’m munching on is called Starry Starry Star Fruit which is made of star fruit and goat cheese. A little strange I know and it works! I know what you’re thinking … does she have a thing for cheese, well I’m gonna tell you a (not so secret) secret right now! YES!

IMG_1752In case you’re wondering if I try anything else save the cheesy flavors … well Mango Habanero Lime is another super delicious favorite. The next best thing other than flavor about Ono Pops … you can read the ingredients! See what Miss Pepper Pitt is made of right up top! Now the other thing you can read? Each flavor has a character and each character has a story! So much fun to eat, read and love! Definitely stop by their website ( for the fun reads!

I’ve found Ono Pops in Foodland Supermarkets, and at various farmer’s markets, namely KCC’s Saturday Farmer’s Market and the one held at the Blaisdell Farmer’s Market.