KUALEI- Hawaiian Style Grindz in Vegas

When Hawaiians move away from the islands in order to buy their own homes, there’s a good chance that their destination is Las Vegas AKA “the 9th Hawaiians island”.  If you’ve been to Hawaii and tried out some of our local cuisine then you can only image what it’s like to be away from it. Luckily, locals are opening up restaurants all over Vegas where we can get our fix.

Kualei is a new company run by a ohana of cooks.  I’m talking about home style local food that you can only get at Papa’s house for family potluck. I’m so excited that Sarah & Sam are able to share with everyone their ono food.  Check out their website and give them a call for your next pa’ina.



I’m going to be a Grandma.

A lot of time has passed and there have been so many things happening in life, hence the months of not posting.  I found out in October that my oldest child, Maui, is going to be having a baby in May.  When he first told me, I lost my mind.  I cried and cried.  He’s only 19 and going to be a dad.  I felt like all my dreams and all of my hard work raising him and trying to provide the very best for him just went down the drain.  It was heartbreaking! I had Maui when I was 18 and know first hand how it is to be a young parent and how much harder you have to work to provide.  School was harder because along with school there’s work on top of taking care of a baby who demands so much attention.

It took a while for me to finally see the positive and realize that everything happens for a reason and that a baby is the ultimate blessing that one can receive. Of course I still worry about the road ahead for Maui, but I know that with the support he has, he will be ok. The only thing to do is pray.


We recently found out that ITS A GIRL!  I am way too young to be called Grandma so I’ve been thinking of a cute nickname.  I’d love any suggestions.  Some that I’m considering are… cookie, lovey, kissy and toots.

New Year Blog Resolution

Hi everyone!  I know that it has been so long since I wrote, but life has been so busy and there’s been so many changes!  I’ve been struggling with my anxiety and depression.  I’m going to be completely honest and say that I’ve spent so many nights just laying in bed and feeling like I’d just like to sleep the day away instead of getting up and going to work or making breakfast for my kids.  My kids are all doing great and I have so much to be grateful for but the thing is, it just takes something that gets me frustrated to feel so overwhelming that I do get really depressed.  I’m working really hard on trying to do things differently and take more time for myself and actually allow people to help instead of not wanting to burden anyone.

One thing that I absolutely loved, was writing blog posts and I’ve decided to set some time aside everyday so that I can do this.  I’m looking forward to sharing more with all of you and visiting your sites as well.  I hope that this is the one resolution that I can keep, the others I’ve already failed at.


Hawaii Missile Error.  I’ve never been so scared in my life!

I’m writing this at about 8:30pm.  Just a little over 12 hours ago I was getting my 13 year old son up to get ready for his Kamehameha Schools interview when I received this alert on my phone…

Suddenly all of the other phones in my house started blaring and we all went into panic mode because we had absolutely no idea what to do.  I grabbed my 2 year old, buckled her into her car seat and Kahele and Kūha’o got in the car and we drove to the nearest high school to seek shelter.  My 10 year old daughter had stayed with my mom last night and my 19 year old slept out.  I called my mom and told her to go to the nearest grocery store and called Maui and told him to go to the mall which was 5 minutes away from where he was.  All the while in my head all I could think was “this is it I’m never gonna see my 2 kids again”.  

We parked the car in the lot of Aiea high school, still wondering why we weren’t hearing the sirens. I grabbed my daughter and we started walking to the gym.  At this point it’s 8:28.  We’re waking to the gym (still in a panic and alternating calls to Maui and Téa) to find that the gym is locked up.  We start running back to our car.  The emotions that were going through me was something I never want to experience again.  At one point I just stopped walking because when I looked to my left I saw Pearl Harbor and thought ‘we’re dead’ and just squeezed my 2 year old and buried my face in her neck and just prayed. I don’t remember what I was saying while praying but  I do know that I’ve never prayed so hard and with so much feeling in my life. My dad called me at that moment and said that there was an alert saying it was a false alarm.  I told him I didn’t believe it while sobbing.  He said the alert came Tulsi Gabbard. Then people around us started yelling out “It’s a false alarm!”.  I still didn’t believe it, how could that be a false alarm and why did they wait so long to get that alert out? 13 year old just hugged me and said it’s ok Mom you can calm down.  I received the official alert on my phone soon after.

 I was in a complete daze as we walked back to our car.  We all got in the car and I just had a complete mental break.  I couldn’t get myself under control.  I called my mom and she had ended going to a store in Kailua and Maui had just ended up going into the concrete addition of my dads house, which was safer than where we were. 

When we got home we sat for a little bit still crying and decided to still take Kūha’o for his interview.  I’m glad we did because it was a much needed distraction even though I kept having these moments of anxiety and crying.  We picked up my daughter from my mom and my son from my dad and just spent the day at home together watching the news alerts and interviews and just being thankful to be alive. We are planning to make emergency kits for everyone tomorrow that we will have ready in case this happens again.  We also are going over where the best place to go will be.  This was a huge wake up call to us all. 

I’m so upset that they’re saying a “wrong button” was pushed!  Are they serious?!  A wrong button?!  Can we please see a picture of this button?  Is it some big red button?  Is it next to the false alarm button?  But that’s a rant for another post.

We’ve been hearing stories of the experiences of people all around the island and thought that this was a good place to document mine.  I hope that I will never have to experience the fear that I had today ever again! God bless you all!

Here’s a picture of our sunset this evening.  That’s Pearl Harbor to the left.  That line of lights are the bridge lights to Ford Island.

It’s been a while

Hi everyone!  I haven’t posted in a little bit because so much has been going on. I quit my job 2 weeks ago and I’ve been so busy just trying to sit and figure out what’s next.  I quit because the company I was at for over 11 years wasn’t giving me what I needed as far as compensation or a fair working environment.  It’s been taking a toll on me mentally and emotionally for a while and recently I started to bring that stress home with me.  So yes, it was time to go.

I’m so excited to see where the road will take me.  I’m someone who is so interested in EVERYTHING that I have so many routes that I can go as far as a career.  But, that doesn’t help when I’m not sure what the heck it is I really want to do. I love office jobs (because I’m super organized and a fast worker) however I’m debating on going back to esthetics full-time.  Or, I could also go  back to a career in behavioral health.  I JUST DON’T KNOW!!!! So many possibilities, so you can see that I’m more excited than scared even though I am unemployed.

I’m submitting applications for anything that sounds interesting and hoping that whatever is meant to be will be. Until then, I hope to start posting and getting a little more serious about my blog.  Hopefully I’ll be getting more traffic and maybe even make a little bit of side money from it? We’ll just have to see!

Until then I’ve been enjoying my time at home with my baby girl.  I wish I was able to stay home with her until she enters preschool.

Rock n Fun Kapolei

Games, Burgers, Fries, Milkshakes and… A BAR!  There’s fun for everyone at the new Rock N Fun, located at Ka Makana Ali’i in Kapolei.  Last night we were invited to the soft opening of this new venue that combines Fun Factory and Johnny Rockets.  Here on the island, we associate E. K. Fernandez with all things fun.  They’ve provided family entertainment through their Carnivals and Fun Factory game rooms for what feels like forever (since I was a little girl). So we were so excited to learn that they’d be collaborating with one of my “must-eat” restaurants whenever we travel to California.

I’m not too sure about the actual Grand Opening, but I’m assuming that the date will be within the next couple of weeks.

The food was so good! Kahele and the kids are definitely Burgers & Fries lovers, so they filled up til satisfied.  My favorite burger at Johnny Rockets is the patty melt and a chunk of my afternoon was spent craving it!  When I took my first bite it was exactly what I’d been wanting.  Of course the shakes were awesome. I love how the adults are able to get their grub and drink on while the kids are in watching distance playing arcade games.  It really is the best of both worlds.

Things to do on the Windward side of Oahu- Part 1

Hi everyone!  Hope everyone is having a great week.  It’s almost the weekend and I’m so excited!  Besides the scheduled baseball games that we need to attend, we really don’t have any plans.  One thing I know I don’t want to do after going to a game on the other side of the mountain, is to go home and take another long drive.  Maybe we’ll check out the mall or even catch a movie.  Living on the Windward side we’re pretty limited on things to do when it comes to theme parks, big malls and big events.  I thought this would be a great place to share just some of the things there are to do if you ever find yourself on the Windward Side of Oahu. So…. Here are just a few things to take into consideration.

If I could give one “must-do” in my opinion, it would be to start your day off by ordering out from Cinnamon’s Restaurant in Kailua (order out or you’re looking at, at least an hour wait) and having breakfast at Lanikai Beach.  It’s so pretty in the morning and not crowded (on the weekdays).  Here are some of my favorites from Cinnamon’s.

^^ The Crabcakes Eggs Benedict is my absolute fave!^^

^^ These guava chiffon pancakes are the perfect breakfast dessert^^

Now on to some other suggestions…

Hike the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

This really is a beautiful hike.  I DON’T HIKE, but this hike is an easy one.  I’d say that if you plan 2 1/2 hours around this you’ll be able to hike both ways and have lots of time to take in the view and get some great pics.

Image Source

Sea Life Park

You can do this right after the hike. You get in your car and literally drive 5 minutes to the entrance of the park. I have to be honest though, unless you’re planning to actually swim with the dolphins or do other activities besides the free shows, this may not be worth it.  We went a few months ago and were a little bored because the show schedules are catered to those who pay for these extra perks.  So there is a lot of downtime between shows and really nothing much to do with that time. But still a beautiful place to visit.

Kalama Beach

I’ve already mentions having breakfast at Kailua or Lanikai beach but the shoreline in Kailua is long and beautiful.  In addition to these pretty beaches you’ll also run into Kalama Beach.  This beach is good for beginner surfers, they often have youth surf competitions here. but also just a great beach to lay out at.  The parking is limited and you may have to find road side parking but once you get to the sand you’ll see that the trouble was well worth it.

^^ This is my favorite beach in Kailua. That’s the Marine Base there in the distance.^^

Maunawili Falls

The Ko’olau mountains offer us some beautiful waterfalls but if you want to see one up close you can drive just 5 minutes from Kalama Beach to the Maunawili Falls. I used to go here all the time in High School.  You’ll have to be careful on this hike and avoid it if it’s rainy weather which is pretty common on the windward side.

Island Snow

 And don’t forget to grab some Shave Ice from Island Snow.  You may have heard of this place because Barack Obama would stop by while vacationing in Kailua. My recommendation is to get the snow cap on any flavor you decide on!

As you can see the Windward side has a lot of natural beauty to offer.  You won’t find too many tourist attractions or a lot to do indoors but if you love beaches, waterfalls and nature we have some of the best.  In part 2 we’ll be heading over to my home town of Kaneohe as well as the rest of the windward side cities.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that I’ve provided some exciting adventures for anyone visiting soon.