Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews

Synopsis

Grace Stanton’s life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricey sports car straight into the family swimming pool. Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style. Moving in with her widowed mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called The Sandbox, is less than ideal. So is attending court-mandated weekly “divorce recovery” therapy sessions with three other women and one man for whom betrayal seems to be the only commonality. When their “divorce coach” starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday “Ladies’ Night” sessions at The Sandbox, and the unanticipated bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try and find closure in ways they never imagined. Can Grace figure out a new way home and discover how strong she needs to be to get there?

My Thoughts

Cheating spouses, a dirty judge, divorcees being forced into group therapy with a flaky divorce coach, a stolen blog, the process of rebuilding and a few psychopaths and we’ve got ourselves Ladies’ Night. This was a pretty long read and there was a lot that I felt dragged but for the most part it was an enjoyable book. I love books about groups of women getting together and spilling tea and we got a lot of that here. And of course I love when the victim comes out on top and karma bites the assholes right in the ass. We got a lot of that too. And then… we get our happy ending. This is a great beach read.

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Top 25 favorite movies from when I was a kid

On Monday night I wanted to watch a fun movie before I went to bed but found myself scrolling through all of the Netflix new releases and couldn’t find anything that looked interesting.  Don’t you hate that?  Whenever we want to watch a movie we spend about an hour trying to decide which one to choose.  I’m the type of person who has no problem watching old movies that I’ve seen over and over.  Kahele is a different story, he’d rather not waste time on something that he’s already seen.  So, when I’m alone and can’t find anything, I automatically go back to a childhood favorite. On Monday I chose to watch Shag!  I love watching something that takes me back to the good old days where there was no worry in my life.  My mom would have movie days during the summer where we’d wake up and have breakfast, lunch and dinner all while taking turns choosing movies to watch.  I used to love these lazy days.  Sometimes I try to have them with my kids but they are so invested in what’s on youtube that it’s hard to do.

I’d love to hear what your favorite childhood movies are so feel free to share.

SOME WEEKEND PICS

On Sunday we celebrated 2 of our nephews (Kanaloa and Kahaku) birthdays at Kailua beach followed by a BBQ at Kahele’s parents house.  I was able to capture just a few pics at the beach. It was so hot and crowded that while everyone was swimming I stayed in my nice breezy spot under a huge tree where I was able to read my book.

We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

Synopsis:

Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she’ll never have a family of her own. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine’s parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone…” Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth?

My Thoughts:

I give this book 3 stars because it was a good story and well written. However, the characters, especially Catherine, were so annoying! It reminded me a little of the 50 shades characters- I read that book and the entire time telling myself “I wanna smack the characters upside the head” because they’re either idiots or they think that they’re so superior to everyone around them.

It wasn’t really a fast read either. What I thought would take me around 6-7 hours to finish took me 2 days because I’d get bored and didn’t mind putting the book down and getting back to it in no hurry. The twist in the book was a pretty juicy one, I must say- worth finishing for sure. I may just be really bored with this type of genre also, I think the next book I choose will have to be a chick-lit or even romance.

Rock Island Cafe Waikiki

For years I’ve walked by this cafe and I’ve never tried it.  Today Kahele picked me up for lunch and I told him that I really wanted to try it out, so without knowing what to expect we headed over.  The minute I walked in I loved the place.  I didn’t even know how the food or the service was, but the decor and feel of the restaurant totally won me over.

  I mean how cool is this place!  It’s like walking into a time machine and heading right back to mid-century.  All of the Elvis, Audrey, Marilyn, I love Lucy… amazing!  And they played the Grease soundtrack while we ate.  Now I think that all my meals should be eaten with the Grease soundtrack playing in the background 😉

Everywhere you turn there’s just some random piece of furniture, stuffed animal, quote, picture that you can’t help to smile at.  I mean, this chair right next to the popcorn machine?

This cute little bar that sits about 5 is located at the very back of the restaurant, sort of like… “hey we need a bar, but don’t have any room for one so let’s just stick baby in the corner”.

Not too sure if this stage is just for show or if they actually have live entertainment.  OMG if I find out that they have Karaoke and you’re able to perform on this stage I’m going back!

Another random bar/podium.  Not sure what it’s purpose is but it oddly fits right in with the restaurant.

All of the vintage posters made me want to watch some oldies.  I think this weekend I may have to make some time for Audrey or Marilyn.  Maybe, Seven Year Itch?  That sound good to me!

Our table had the retro decor and even had Trivial Pursuit cards to keep us busy while waiting for our food.  I wish we had more than an hour but I had to get back to work.

The food was really good. Nothing fancy but really tasty.  I had the Pizza with a Plantation Iced Tea and Kahele just had to have the Diner food- Bacon burger, french fries and a chocolate malt.

Be prepared that this restaurant is a little pricey for the simplicity of the food.  We ended up spending $43 on just what’s pictured above.  But for the experience, I feel like it was worth it.

Rock Island Cafe

131 Kaiulani Ave

Honolulu, HI 96815

 

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Synopsis

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

My Thoughts

Wow! First off, Gillian Flynn is an amazing author. I love her style, the way she keeps you on your toes guessing and constantly changing your mind about what the outcome will be. I also like how she adds just the right amount of action, drama and sex in a book so that you are not turned off in anyway by either having too little or too much of each. It was interesting that she let us get a taste of what actually happened from each characters point of view. I kept experiencing like and dislike for the characters throughout the story.  The end didn’t let me down, I was completely satisfied with the truth of what really happened to the Day family. It was definitely a nail biter for me. Read this book!!!!

Tsujita- Yokocho Gourmet Alley

A few months ago the bottom floor to the Waikiki Shopping Plaza was turned into a food court decorated to replicate the alleys of Yokota, a lot of locals are referring to it as Ramen Road.  I’ll be doing a post of the entire floor a little later because it really is a cool looking place that offers so many different Japanese dishes. But for now, I must focus on one of the restaurants that I’ve tried there.  Tsujita, known for their long lines in their L.A. and Japan locations and frequented by many celebrities, has gained popularity because of their thick broths simmered down for hours.  I don’t know what they put in their broth but from the first taste I was hooked.  I love the style of the “dip” noodle, the noodles presented separately from the broth and dipping, slurping, chewing and savoring every flavor.  So yummy!

I love the earthy, woodsy feel of this restaurant.  It definitely transports you to Japan for the duration of  your meal, which it nice when you’re eating there on your lunch break from work.

I was pretty hungry so I went for the Ajitama Tsukemen (Tsukemen with soft boiled egg) as well as their Spicy Tuna Bowl.  I enjoyed both! If you ever get around to visiting this Ramen Road it’ll probably be hard to decide between their 16 vendors, but I can honestly say that this place is good and worth a try.

2250 Kalakaua Ave.

Honolulu, Hi 96815

A morning at the park with my girls!

This morning before heading off to work I took my girls to the park to have some breakfast and to play on the jungle gym.  My youngest loves to be outdoors and pretty much nags the entire time in the house to get out.  So when she’s at the park running around she’s her happiest. It was really nice to have the morning with them, I wish every morning could be spent like this!