Hawaiian Vanilla Company

Hawaiian Vanilla Company

Hawaii offers a plethora of activity tours, from zip-lining to shark diving (and everything in between). If you look slightly off the beaten-tourist-path, you’ll find one that’s even more exciting: the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, located up in the secluded town of Paauilo of the Big Island. I had a chance to visit the farm back while I was on maternity leave, and I couldn’t help but fall in love.

But then, I lost my hard drive. Because, you know. Not sleeping, mommy brain, and all that jazz. So you can imagine my content when I found it last week (likely sitting right where I had left it). So while the pictures are about 6 months outdated, my love for Hawaiian Vanilla Company is not. Here’s the lowdown. Continue reading


Holiday photoshoot at the beach

Although my full-time job and momma duties have kept me away from blogging as much as I’d like, we did manage to squeeze some time in for a family holiday photoshoot a few weeks back. Believe it or not, this was actually the first formal photoshoot we’ve ever had with Kai. The day was windy and not as sunny as we had hoped for, but Christie Pham Photography still managed to capture some gems (no surprise to us, given how much we loved our wedding pictures). We’ll treasure these forever!

From our home to yours, happy holidays and warm wishes.

Marisa_0002 Continue reading

gdiapers aloha

Diaper talk

It was a HOT summer and early fall, so naturally Kai has been hanging out in his diapers quite a bit. And inevitably, I’ve posted some pictures of him in this state, which has prompted a lot of questions about our diapering choices. So for[…] Continue reading

mango pico de gallo

Mango Pico de Gallo

I used to look forward to the summers in Oregon for one thing: berry picking! Okay technically I loved a bunch of things about summer in the Northwest, but freshly picked strawberries, blueberries, raspberries? Sooooo good. We don’t have “u[…] Continue reading

spicy tofu poke bowl

Spicy Tofu Poke Bowls

There are several food trends that hit Hawaii long before they made it to the mainland. Like Bubble Tea. Acai Bowls. And most recently, Poke Bowls. Poke – which is essentially a raw fish salad – has been a long-time[…] Continue reading

soba salad recipe

Easy Soba Salad

It’s fun to get wild in the kitchen with new ingredients and daring flavor combinations. But sometimes I find that the oldest recipes are the best ones. This easy Soba Salad recipe is one of my favorite go-to dishes that[…] Continue reading


thoughts on returning to work

The truth about being a blogger is that sometimes it’s hard to be so vulnerable. Yes, I write about cooking, eating, and drinking. But I also share personal anecdotes and happenings from my life. And the latest big event in my life happened[…] Continue reading

north shore shrimp shack

10 places to visit on Oahu’s north shore

Kai was born a few days past his due date. Waiting was torture, but we tried to keep ourselves busy. Sam planned some fun activities including a road trip – which turned out to be a perfect adventure for such a[…] Continue reading

kai's birth story

Kai’s birth story

Before Kai was born, I was 110% sure that I would NOT share his birth story on the blog. It felt incredibly personal, and I figured that not all of you lovely readers would actually be interested in all of[…] Continue reading

passion fruit strawberry margaritas

Passion Fruit Strawberry Margaritas

You know how I feel about margaritas. OBSESSED. But in a strange twist of events, I didn’t miss margaritas while I was pregnant. Like, at all. When it came to alcohol, all I wanted was a cold beer. And this craving[…] Continue reading