Tag Archives: hawaii

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 So while the pictures are about 6 months outdated, my love for Hawaiian Vanilla Company is not.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


10 places to visit on Oahu’s north shore

things to do 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 pregnant lady (sitting! air condition!). Plus, car rides are the perfect time to talk and catch up. And with all the stress of baby prep, we needed some time to focus on the two of us. Thank goodness we did, because there hasn’t been any “Sam and Marisa” time since!

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Coconut Milk Bubble Tea

coconut milk bubble tea

Often times, Hawaii is slow to catch up on trends. But one thing they’ve totally got the rest of y’all beat on is bubble tea.

It seems like there are a million bubble tea shops in Hawaii, and they serve all kinds of flavor combinations and all types of “bubbles,” or boba. Boba is essentially a tasteless, chewy tapioca-style jelly. They are pretty unappealing on their own, but paired with a sweet, refreshing beverage – and a large straw – and it becomes a super tasty treat. Plus, let’s be honest. Chewing AND drinking at the same time? So fun. Continue reading


No margaritas for 9 months.

 Lemonade Hawaii

Actually, I guess it’s more like 6 months. Because, I’m already 3 months pregnant. With a small pooch to prove it.

Eeeeek. Continue reading


Aloha, Honolulu!

aloha surfboard

Well, it’s been radio silent on my end. I hope you can forgive me. I thought for sure that there’d be no interruption in blogging during the move to Hawaii. Clearly I had no idea what I was in for. Despite my attempts at organization – and I’m talking google spreadsheets here, people! – moving was stressful. Slightly chaotic. And filled with mixed emotions. It was really difficult saying goodbyes to all of the friends who’ve become my family-away-from-home in Portland. It was even harder to say goodbye to Sam and Lola, who I won’t see for over three months.

But, wait.  Don’t feel too sorry for me. I landed in Hawaii safe and sound, despite severe hurricane threats. And truthfully, it’s so wonderful to be home. I can’t wait to fill you in on my new adventure, but for now, here’s a look at the sites, smells and tastes of my first week home in Hawaii. Continue reading


Peace out, Portland.

portland waterfront

I’m a day behind schedule thanks to not 1 but 2 tropical storms hitting Hawaii this week. My first flight was postponed, and now I’m rescheduled to fly out smack dab between the two storms. That might sound simple, but the weather forecast seems to chance ever 3 minutes. Hawaii, you sure are making me work for this (read about my big move here!).

Portland, it’s been real. Hope to see you soon. And in the meantime, wish me luck on the flight tomorrow. Flying in windy skies is not my strong suit.


Big announcement!

red sunglasses

I’m at that stage in my life where big news usually has to do with pregnancies and babies. So I’m going to squash that rumor right now and confirm that that’s not at all what I’m talking about. Any other guesses? Continue reading


Margaritas In The Rain

big island beach

^^ One of my all time favorite beaches in Hawaii ^^

I often get questions about the origin of “Margaritas In The Rain.”

I’ve been asked if I’m a margarita connoisseur; a tequila maker; and even a Jimmy Buffet groupie. The answer to all three questions is, quite simply, no. But, story of this blog is probably a few years overdue.  Continue reading


A Tribute To Summer {in iPhone photos}

I had a slightly insane summer. So busy that I haven’t had the chance to fill y’all in. I feel like I spent more time in the airport than at home – but I was lucky to travel to some truly exciting cities. It started with a weekend in LA for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Then we flew to San Diego to celebrate the marriage of one of my besties from high school. Next up was Hawaii – where I attended my cousin’s wedding AND got to meet my new nephew – who is a total doll, omg. Finally, I had to be in NYC for work, so Sam and I flew out a few days early to spend some time playing tourist the city. In the city, I learned that you haven’t lived until your hotel catches on fire and you get woken up and evacuated in the middle of the night. But that’s a whole other story.

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