Monday, January 31, 2011

Study Abroad in Florence Spring 2012

Have you ever wanted to study in Florence?  (who hasn't, really...)  In Spring of 2012 a good friend of mine, Kristin McAndrews, is going to be teaching a few courses in Florence.  She is an English Professor at the University of Hawaii Manoa.  If you have never studied abroad, this is the chance for you!  She will help make your experience exciting and rewarding through the courses offered.  Picture field trips (as a class day!) and walking around Florence gathering important "material" (pizza) for your next paper.


Interested, click here to go to UH Manoa's study abroad page.  Or call them at 808-956-6958.   E-mail at

Here are the classes that she is offering through the University of Hawaii in Florence, so if you are a student there, you can take full advantage of the credits to bring back home.


She will be teaching: A Taste of Florence: An Exploration of Life and Food in Italy and The Feast in Italian Art and Literature.

Let me tell you a little bit about each one.  (as written by Professor Kristin McAndrews)

A Taste of Florence: An exploration of Life and Food in Italy

Tuscan food is relatively simple, incorporating fresh produce and herbs and yet it is complex in history. The cuisine has historical roots in poverty, yet Florence displays an abundance of delicious creations. While bridging American and Italian cultures, writers will discover how something as simple as sampling fresh pecorino, sipping an espresso or indulging in a dolce can become a story.  Food writing requires an enthusiasm for food, culture and the ability to summon its wonders in words. In A Taste of Florence, students will learn about the full spectrum of food writing—reviews, a memoir, essays, articles, and blogs—as well as such writing craft elements such as description, structure and voice. Students will frame food narratives towards an audience of other visitors to Florence, specifically study abroad students.  Where can a student find an affordable osteria? Which fiascheterria near the Instituto Lorenzo De Medici has good sandwiches or snacks?  What advice can you offer new visitors to the city about Florentine etiquette?  We will read historical and contemporary food narratives, using these works as models for writing. In addition we will discuss the criticism that food writers often assume a patriarchal gaze of cultural superiority, when describing the culture of others. As a writing intensive course, English 311 will give students practice at writing within two major literary forms, the autobiography and food narrative.

------ this course sounds like an excuse to eat crazy good food everyday and then.... write about it?  What more could you ask for?  Seriously!  This course sounds like a foodies dream...


The Feast in Italian Art and Literature

This course will provide a study of the feast in Italian art and literature in order to examine how this folkloric ritual impacts culture.  All cultures employ feasting often to create a cohesive cultural and social identity and for political and economic gain.  Feasts maintain and enhance social relationships, revealing ideologies of class and gender. With transculturalism in mind, students will learn how the feast functions as a celebration and an agent of cultural identification and oppression, not only in Italy but also in American culture.  

The course will be presented in four sections:
1.  An introduction to folkloric and analytical approaches to the feast. 
2.  The artistic feast as a vision of power, gender and class.
3. The feast in myth, folktale and storytelling
4.  The feast in the film

------This course is more academic with a lot of reflection on eating and what shapes the way that we eat.  So imagine this....  All day you walk around Florence eating, I mean doing homework, and then you go to your next course and discuss the history of feasting.  What better day could you ask for in class??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Surf VIdeos from Waimea Bay

I took a bunch of photos on sports mode the other day at Waimea Bay and pieced them together so you could watch short video clips.  They aren't amazingly long, but they are pretty cool!  Check it out...

One of the many big wave rides shared.

Riding the shore break in, then wiping out.  The water was super rough.

Body boarding at Waimea, he lands it! Watch closely, it goes fast....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eddie Aikau Competition 2011 - (almost)

Last week, we had 20 to 40 foot waves predicted and the Eddie Aikau competition was predicted to go off. So I drove up to Waimea Bay and brought my camera and some snacks and waited.  We got to the beach around 7 am, and people had been waiting since 4.  They waited until sunrise to make the call, then till 8:30, then kept waiting.  Finally they made the call and it was a no go.  The waves were an easy 20 feet, but they weren't consistently big enough to hold the competition.  Even though the competition didn't go, the surfers were out in full effect and the waves were amazing.  Here are some pictures that I took that morning.

There were a lot of jet ski guys in the water to make sure the surfers were safe and any wipe outs were scooped out of the water as soon as they could get to them.  This is when they were going through the shore break.  CrazY!

The lineup was huge!

I love these shots...

All in

Checking out the waves before surrendering to mother nature.

So many dogs...

Killer ride, SOLO!

Yep this is a body boarder, and he lands it!

Coming in from the surf, taking a dive.

Just getting out of the water was a challenge, the guys rode the shore break all the way in and up on the beach.

Just a few shots of the guys braving the surf.  More photos to come soon of them riding.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Running Around the Block

I signed up for the Great Aloha Run, an 8 mile run from Aloha Tower to the Stadium next month.  Last week I got new running shoes, and they are fantastic!  Today I ran about 5 miles in them and I have to say... they felt great.  I run around the park by my house and around my neighborhood mostly and today wasn't any different.  I "ran around the block" in the heat of the day, but was really happy because my feet felt like they were running on air...  Thank you new shoes...

Nike Air Max Tailwind + 2 Breathe

Hot neon colors... I wanted the hot pink, but these ones were so much more comfy than the hot pink ones... maybe next year!

My first pair of Nike shoes... Happy so far!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cupcake Bake off for IHS

This morning I held the annual bake off between a few friends and I for donation.  Last year we donated cookies to IHS, Institute for Human Services.    This year we made cupcakes and had a blast decorating them and making up new designs.  IHS accepts all different types of donations and you can read about what they need here.  They take food, laundry detergent, deodorant, razors, notebooks, pens, pencils, fruit for the keiki, G rated DVDs, and arts and crafts supplies to name a few.  They need pretty much everything, so think about what you can give, and check out their site to read more about who they serve.

A few of our many creations.  We made carrot cake cupcakes, chocolate, yellow sponge, funfetti, and lime yogurt cupcakes.  They were YUMMY!

Hard at work, look at all those cupcakes!

The girls showing off their goods.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mauli Ola Foundation

As many of you know my boyfriend has cystic fibrosis and sometimes I talk about it on my blog.  Ways you can help, volunteer, donate, etc.  Last year when I participated in the cystic fibrosis walk in Waikiki, I noticed a few people wearing surf CF shirts and was curious.  Today I remembered somehow about these shirts and thus discovered Mauli Ola.  What is Mauli Ola?  Mauli Ola Foundation works to introduce surfing as a natural treatment for  people with genetic diseases, such as CF.

How can surfing help cystic fibrosis?  You can read all about it here, but basically, the salt water helps to clean out their system and help them breathe better.  Being in the water is also spiritually reviving, (but there are actual medical benefits as well.)

This video talks about their "Surf Experience" days, where surfers take people out in the water that have cystic fibrosis and get them surfing.  Watch it, it is a really great video that gives you a better idea of what Mauli Ola is all about, and who is involved.

To donate, click here.

This foundation is amazing and gives such a great chance to so many people that have cystic fibrosis to get in the water and ride their very own "wave of the day." What is not to love about it?  Thank you Mauli Ola and keep up the good work.  :)  Please consider donating to help their cause!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thinking of the Weekend

My weekend is coming up and I am so excited that I am already planning like I have 2 weeks off.  :)  As usual I only have 2 days off, but I love to dream.  I want to make one of these on my weekend.

Make your own at urban threads.  They have all kinds of cool stock art images and tutorials on how to use them to make your own life that much better...

Wedding planning and building the holders for my succulent centerpieces, much like the ones above but more rustic and handmade, that can be found here.

Start making wedding place cards...  What do you think of these super fun ones from cuddlecreature on etsy??  Find them here.  I think I would totally take this home with me!

Continue making fun photo booth props for the wedding (and fun times before the wedding, who can resist??).  You can find these super cool super hero ones here.  The best part about them??  You print them yourself so you can make as many as you want.  Go to papercake on etsy to find more cool printable items.

I know, that seems like a lot for 2 days.  (IT IS)  I didn't mention I would also love to hike, surf, and spend time with the family.  Alas, 2 days off a week are never enough!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bird Love

Today I am feeling my serious obsession for birds and I thought I'd share a few of my favorite bird graphics.  My go to for free graphics is the graphics fairy blog.  She posts super amazing vintage clip art and great ways to use it.

This one is so cute!  He looks so proud...

Squaty body, so adorable.

I am dreaming up wedding decorations, projects, prints, ... what else?  I would love to use these are place cards or table numbers somehow...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Aiea Ridge Trail

Hike: Aiea Ridge Trail

Difficulty: Novice (for the first few hours), then progressively more challenging

Length: 11 miles round trip

Tips: Wear long pants to fight through the overgrown ferns on the trail

Highlights: Stunning views of the island, views overlooking the H-3 tunnel/highway, pearl harbor, and more

Looking at the H-3

Ferns are everywhere!

Tall grass, ferns, and I swear there is a trail in there...

One of my favorite things to see hiking, so beautiful!
Ohia Lehua

My pal Nat

Lush mountain and city views

H-3 tunnels going Kailua bound

View Larger Map

Directions: At the top of Aiea Heights Drive, trail head at the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area
Also at the park: Aiea Loop Trail


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