Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Climbing Koko Head

If you have ever driven past Hanauma Bay, you may have seen a massive set of "stairs" off to the mountain side. These are old train tracks that you can trek up, and that everyone calls Koko Head because it climbs up the side of  Koko Head Crater.  It is a quick and intense cardio workout that is insanely popular. 

My tips: 

  • Go early to avoid the heat and the crowds.
  • Bring lots of water-it gets crazy hot!  There is NO shade and the breeze is blocked until the top.
  • Bring a camera for the amazing view!
  • Take breaks if you need to, but don't give up.  The top is worth it and you can always rest.
  • Moonrise, Sunrise, and Sunset are all great from the top.  
Here is a shot of the view on your way up.  

A map of the area

Hanauma Bay is just below Koko Crater in this map view of the hike location.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Truly Inspiring Tuesdays- Natalie Krawciw

Here is another Truly Inspiring Tuesdays interview with a good friend of mine Natalie Krawciw. She is one of the most honest and inspiring people I know, so this interview section is perfect for her! Enjoy her work and getting to know her a little through her funky responses that share her inner thoughts.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
i am 26 years old. i have a deep respect for my family members for all that they've been through. i am shy but loud and bold but quiet all at once. i crack jokes that most people roll their eyes at while some giggle hysterically at four seconds later. i like running up hills. i seek God and he has taught me and is teaching me how to love, and I am most thankful for that in life. i like hardware stores and grocery stores, libraries and puppet shows, big makapuu, picnics at sandy's at sunset, vegetable gardens. i like to bring stories out of people. i like hugs from kids. i dislike cynicism, racism, and arrogance. that is just a little about me.

How did you get started (crafting, creating, expressing yourself through art)?
i think the truest answer to that question would be through my dad getting old blueprints from construction jobs and bringing them home by the carload for us to paint on. my mom would buy us watercolor paints from woolworths or kmart or something and would always replace them when we ran out. we were encouraged to do anything but watch tv when we were growing up, my dad would always say "go out and play in the street" :).
i first started sewing buttons onto old rags just for practice but quickly lost interest, as anyone would. in the seventh grade i took the weirdest class i had yet taken in my entire life- home economics! i hated the class because my partner was a guy that felt that doing dishes was beneath him and so made me do them. i remember spooning chocolate chip cookie dough onto a pan and thinking how absolutely ridiculous it was that we were learning how to do this in school. then, we moved on to sewing and it completely changed my life. learning how to sew the simplest pillow under the flourescent lights of kailua intermediate just opened my eyes to the possibilities of using a sewing machine to create art. since then, i have made quilts, clothes, and recently, puppets, or figures, inspired by waterpeople.

What are your greatest artistic/creative influences?
right off the bat i would say that quentin blake inspired me so much as a child. he took mundane moments in life but caught the comical in them. i thought and still think he was an artistic genius. he really brought to life roald dahl's books.
nature of course. i am always looking at color combinations in nature. if i travel to other places i am marveling at the differences in the color of the landscape.
gertrude stein wrote a book on picasso that i read while in high school. the way she wrote was so different than anything i had ever read... so something that would get D's in an English class...i still have not read anything else by her but i would say that reading that particular book set off something in me that encouraged humbly and bravely setting out your imperfect but honest work to the world without fear of criticism.
designs for basic human needs in developing countries get me excited... i am thinking of the eyeglasses by joshua silver, straw waterfilters, pedal power, the q-drum, things like that.
my sisters are often showing me their latest discoveries in fashion and house design. my mom regularly shares poetry with me. my dad is always building something. i am influenced creatively by each person in my family.
finally, i have always felt that art should be functional. it should also be uplifting. i hate dark art, i feel that there is enough in the world that is dark and depressing and art should be a means of bringing joy to people. these principles influence my work.

Ketchup or Mustard??

What is your favorite item to create?
currently i am making waterpeople. they are puppets or stuffed figures- surfers, bodyboarders, bodysurfers, tubers. i am in the process of making a fisherman and some more surfers... i love making the barrels out of plastic jars and fabric that the figures go on. it makes me happy to put the surfer in the barrel.

What do you do when you aren't creating?
work. life.

Describe a typical day of crafting/your creative process.
open the box of fabric. pick out colors that go together. stuff them in a plastic bag. start sewing. run out of thread. rethread. lose my scissors. keep sewing. get hot get tired get interrupted. drink water. come back and stare at the color pile. put one more piece in the bag. keep sewing. lose my seam ripper. keep sewing. get interrupted. stuff the bag away. pick up later at night. keep sewing. get tired. keep sewing. go to sleep. wake up early and try to finish. decide the machine is too loud too early for the neighbors. stuff the bag away. try later that night. get tired. keep sewing. finish. go to sleep. wake up early the next morning and look at it. put the surfer in the barrel. throw away the scraps.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
chocolate, black licorice, kirkland's organic peanut butter and anyone's blackberry jam sandwich (toasted), driving the long way home to check out the waves, reading australia vogue

Describe your studio/work station.
a sewing machine on a desk in the closet. fabric in a basket and boxes. nothing special.

What is your favorite season?
summer for floating and winter for waves

Where can we find your work?
at home and right now spiral gallery cafe in waimanalo. (
Thanks for sharing Natalie!  I wanted to share that Natalie is not only a creative person, but a great cook too! You might remember a post a while ago about homemade pizza at a friends, wellll... that was her!  In case you don't remember here is a little peek at one of the pics.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay is one of my favorite beaches on the island.  There are a few downsides though; not enough parking, super far away, and ... not enough parking!  The beach is massive and the water is clear and beautiful.  In the summer, it looks calm and protected.  In the winter, you are looking at an entirely different place.  You might have read my post last year about the Eddie Aikau Surf Competition.  (Click on the link to go to the post on the competition.)  It took place at Waimea Bay and the waves were 25 feet!

My boyfriend took this picture of the lifeguard tower.  The sunset was bEAUtiful.

Me gazing at the flat water and the sun.

See that huge rock with people all over it??  Famous Waimea Rock.  JUMP!

Me and Codes enjoying the sunset and the peace of Waimea and the North Shore.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Zen Villa Haleiwa

We stayed at this beautiful little vacation rental in Hale'iwa last weekend.  It was peaceful, quiet, and right in the center of town.  You would never  have known it was there...  This would be a great place to stay if you wanted to spend some time on the North Shore, check out the Dole Plantation, shop around, and see the beaches.  It was a different feel than a beach house, but so nice to not have to drive a whole lot and enjoy your North Shore experience.

The entry way into the property.

The one bedroom cottage on the right side.

The house was surrounded by a beautiful garden. Plumeria, limes, tropical flowers, and a banana tree created a sense of luxury and peace in the middle of a bustling town.  Our favorite part of the house was the fountain, it was huge and made a very calming sound.

Peeking through the doorway at the cottage on the left, the 3 bedroom that we stayed in.

To view more information or book this house for your next vacation click here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Laniakea - A Turtle Lover's Dream

What makes Laniakea so special?  Is it the beautiful stretch of sand, the great surf, or the large amount of green sea turtle's all in one place?  I love it all, but in the past few years, Laniakea has become a CRAZY tourist destination.  You can't miss the beach, just look for about 50 cars parked on the side of the road and tour buses stopped along the pull off areas.

(One of the many massive honu resting on some rocks just above the surf zone.  I took this last weekend.)

What once was peaceful and serene is now crowded and a little crazy.  What makes Laniakea different from other beaches on Oahu?  There are other places to spot turtle's, in fact, pretty much anytime you are out surfing, you'll spot a few.  But at Laniakea, you can see them basking in the sun, nibbling on limu, or swimming in the waves.  Please be respectful of our turtles/honu and keep your distance.  

This guy was loving the splashing, crashing waves on his back just before he slid into the surf.  

If you want to read more about Laniakea and protecting the turtles, check out this site.

If you have never been to Laniakea, it is located on the North Shore of Oahu.  During the summer, the waves are mild and sometimes non-existent, but in the winter they are world famous and huge.

Here is a view of the coastline from the beach last weekend.

And finally, the reason the turtle's love Laniakea!  FOOOD!  I knew we had a lot in common...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Luibueno's in Hale'iwa Hawaii

Keeping with the theme of the North Shore, I thought I would share with everyone the wonderful food that we had at Luibueno's in Hale'iwa Hawaii.  Located across from Pizza Bob's where the old Rosie's Cantina used to be, Luibueno's is classy, refined, and delicious.  The service was excellent and the bartender had a heavy hand, but the highlight was definitely the food.

An incredibly flavorful vegetarian paella.  Buttery, yet crunchy vegetables over rich Spanish rice.

The "seafood soup" for lack of the actual name... My parents loved it.

Classic Margarita, on the rocks with salt. Strong and not too much sweet and sour, just how I like it.

Someone liked the special!  Ono with a Manchego Cheese and Chipotle cream sauce.  YUMMY.

Luibueno's :
66-165 Kamehameha Hwy.
Hale'iwa, HI 96712

Open:  11-10:30 daily, lunch 11-3, bueno hour 3-5, late night 9:30-10:30

Click Map to see Location

Monday, July 12, 2010


I found this super cute pattern online today and I can't wait to make it! Anybody having any babies??

Vacation to... the North Shore!

This past weekend my parents treated my boyfriend and I to a trip to the North Shore.  We rented a house in the middle of Hale'iwa and just soaked up the tourist atmosphere.  We went shopping, snorkeling, swimming, and watched some beautiful sunsets, not to mention all the food we ate!  In honor of such a fun trip, this week, my blog is going to be full of posts about the North Shore and our lovely weekend.  To kick off the week, here are some snapshots of our stunning sunset our first night in Hale'iwa.

Totally enjoying my first night away from home.

These little girls were too much!  The one on the far left kept saying, "You are my BFFF" to the girl in the pink.  They were definitely adorable and entertaining.  Running up and down the beach in their own little world...  To be 5 again.

The paddlers were paddling out and back in, out and back in and their coach was in the one man beside them.  The shape of the boats and the paddlers was so peaceful and yet inspiring with the sun setting in the background.

The rippling waves...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Inspired by Independence Day

Independence Day (and my birthday) is tomorrow.  I love red, white, and blue any time of the year, but for some reason Summer makes these colors POP!
If you love bold statements and summer fun, you'll flip over this cute little clutch.

Show off your cute and sassy side with this hair clip.

Walk in style and save all those little paper cozy wraps with this super cute peace coffee wrap.

I don't have any keiki of my own, but if I did, they would be decked out in these amazingly cute bloomers.

Enjoy your 4th of July and be safe.  Fireworks are my favorite part of my birthday, and I am so lucky to get them every year!


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