we have had our fair share of skin problems on the island. our pediatrician and dermatologist have both said it takes a while to adjust to hawai’i and staph is a big problem here. the weather is a perfect breading ground for germs. jack broke out into a weird rash while we were in seattle. i took him into three separate doctors and none of them had any idea what it was. initially they thought chicken pox but it never went away. i had an appointment with a dermatologist but we moved before i could get him in. the bumps were itchy and he would scratch until they would bleed and scab over. this went on for months. right as we were moving they seemed to be going away. i figured it was a virus and was glad it was over.


mosquitos are everywhere in hawai’i and jack seems to be their favorite treat. he keeps getting bit and he scratches to death. he ended up scratching a few bites that ended up swelling and oozing. i kept them covered with an over the counter antibacterial ointment. the bites seemed to only be getting worse. i took him into the doctor and he said it was staph. he explained to me that staph is super common here. not to worry and to put mupirocen ointment on it and start antibiotics. he gave me 10 refills of the ointment so i guess it really is super common.


we finished the antibiotic and jack started getting the weird bumps again. the same ones he had in seattle. i made an appointment with a dermatologist who got me in right away. hawai’i gets a bad wrap for their healthcare but i can tell you the doctors offices and er’s aren’t overcrowded like they are on the mainland. we’ve been to the emergency room several times here and never have a wait. the doctors are friendly. we’ve met a few that went to school or did their residency in seattle. we’ve always gotten our issues resolved and been happy. i know there are some procedures they don’t perform here and you have to go back to the mainland for but for your regular illnesses they’re fine. the dermatologist said the bumps are eczema. i was shocked. this isn’t the eczema my other kids had. jacks looked more like chicken pox than dry itchy patches. the doctor gave us a steroid cream and said to come back in a few weeks. we repeatedly asked if it was something in his diet and he said no. i have a hard time believing i can’t clear up his skin by clearing up his diet and what he comes in contact with. i don’t want to coat him in steroid cream nightly if i can cure him naturally.


i decided to talk to my friend. i’ve mentioned her before when i touched lightly on jacks eczema (enlightened homemaker on instagram) and we came up with a plan to get rid of whats causing the flare ups not just mask it. she helped me chose supplements that will clear out the candida and settle the allergies and inflammation. i’m also cleaning his diet up. focusing on eating vegetables, fruits and healthy meats. cutting out dairy, gluten, corn and soy. i’ve already noticed an improvement. i’ve been using lavender and melaleuca essential oil on the bumps that haven’t broken through the skin to soothe and help stop the itching and inflammation.


we are keeping on this path and trying to heal him from the inside out naturally. that poor boy has been through so much and needs to detox all the medicine that he had with his surgery at 2 weeks old. theres nothing worse than feeling hopeless and having doctor after doctor tell you they don’t know whats wrong with your child. its such a blessing to have an answer and see we are making progress. any of you moms out there with kids that suffer with eczema here are a few tips i learned early on, when ava and henri both dealt with it- don’t use any detergent with synthetic fragrances and chemicals. i’ve talked to a lot of friends about eczema and the first thing i ask them is what detergent are you using? stop right now! i’ve even had them tell me just stopping that made a world of difference. there are a lot of all natural, dye and fragrance free detergents that work great. make the switch. i also got rid of any soaps, lotions, shampoos, conditioners that contain fragrance and dyes. exchanging those chemical filled products for natural ones made a world of difference in my older kids. jack seem’s to be a little more tricky. probably because his start was a lot tougher and from birth he was pumped full of medicine. i’m so happy to be seeing improvement in him so quickly.



i get asked questions all the time about moving to hawai’i. how we did it? what we brought? how to find a house? if there’s anything we would/wouldn’t do if we did it again. so i’m going to break it down for you. keep in mind we didn’t have a company we worked for shipping our stuff. every cost was out of pocket. we also live in the north shore so thats all i can speak on. honolulu or “town” as we call it is very different.


we shipped our cars. i don’t know that this matters so much. we like our cars. they both have low miles and are in good shape. it costs a little over $1000 and takes around 10 days. we were already selling everything and didn’t want the hassle of selling cars too. ivan’s is payed off and we don’t owe much on mine so it made sense. cars rust here and unless you’re living in the city NO ONE cares what you drive. i will say if you like your car and its worth a decent amount– ship it. one thing is no matter if you ship or buy here you will get roaches and ants in your car. i don’t think there is any way of getting around it. some people bug bomb their cars. i’ve heard it ruins the interior so i didn’t want to risk it. you can put those roach traps in it. just watch that your little ones aren’t playing with them. it’s gross i know!


packing, oh i remember this like it was yesterday and it is the worst. i didn’t know what to take, sell or leave. you will live in your swimsuit and maybe 3 other outfits. i haven’t worn any shoes but slippahs (flip flops) and my kids rarely wear shoes. our house is very minimally stocked and i notice most people live the same way. its pretty warm year round so you don’t need jackets or pants. you can buy everything you need at costco. the lighter you pack the better. a friend who had recently moved to the u.s. from denmark told me only bring the things that really mean something to you. i think thats a great way to think of it. you’ll want family pictures and your kids art work but don’t really need books you’ve already read. purging is hard but so liberating too. we’ve never had less stuff and it feels so good! i can clean up the house in less than 10 minutes and we are off to the beach.


we did not send a container and i am so glad that we didn’t. it’s expensive and in my opinion not worth it. i have yet to meet a single person that sent a container over and doesn’t regret it. you can buy everything you need here. yes its harder to come by nice thing but the good news is no one cares and several times a year costco has furniture. you can join Facebook groups dedicated to military people moving and selling/giving away their furniture for nothing. there is a furniture store in honolulu called pacific home. super cute and beachy. super expensive. i wouldn’t buy mattresses or couches on craigslist. bedbugs! also tj maxx will become your best friend.


house hunting is very very difficult from the mainland. most landlords will not want to deal with you until you are here. its definitely a slower pace of life so don’t expect to get an email response the same day. people are not in a rush and really don’t care if you are. coming from seattle where i could get amazon to deliver anything i wanted in under two hours was a big adjustment. i have my real estate license in hawaii and our office is right here on the north shore. we direct everyone looking for a rental to look on craigslist and check it constantly. this area is a hot rental market. most listings will be on craigslist and potential gone by the time you call. another piece of advice is lower your standards way lower than you think. you will easily pay $3,500-$4,000 a month for 1,000 sq. ft house not updated. you can’t come here thinking you’re going to get the same 3,000 sq. ft house you have on the mainland for $2,000 a month. i’ve talked to a few people lately who’ve moved here or are in the process and are freaking out that they can’t find a place because its too far out of their budget. its expensive, more expensive than you think. most houses have an ohana house on the property which is basically a small guest house. if you’re lucky its only your family and who ever lives in the ohana house. sometime houses are rented by level. we even looked at one property that had 4 families living on it. this is very normal here and you feel like you hit the jackpot if you get a single family house. make sure to check the listing that it says single family and not duplex or apartment.


be prepared for lots and lots of bugs. flying roaches that are several inches long and little light brown ones. two types of ants, little tiny sugar ants that will flock to any crumb on the floor and giant ants the size of spiders. so many mosquitos, centipedes (we’ve encountered more than i would’ve liked) millipedes, geckos by the hundreds and lizards. the geckos just live with you and you get used to them. like little friends.


hawai’i is an amazing place to live. the people are the sweetest. life is slower and we really enjoy it. you live with less consuming and more happiness. if you have the chance to move here i say do it. it really has been such an amazing experience for our family. getting back to the basics in life is such an amazing feeling!







hawai’i is so magical and beautiful and i’ve fallen in love hard. this island has my heart. it’s very different living in hawai’i vs the mainland. i think i’ll do a little post here soon about some of the big differences and things i’ve learned. i’m a researcher. i’m constantly researching vacations, our next move and restaurants to try. i love hearing others views and thoughts. we can learn so much from each other. so i figure why not share what i’ve learned along the way. that will be another day though.IMG_3947the kids started school and absolutely love it. they leave their slippers by the front door of class and walk around barefoot all day. they never ever wear tennis shoes. because its so much more fun to play kickball barefoot. they’ve made great friends. the people in hawai’i are so friendly and the kids really fit right in. i got a lot of “you have to do private school” or “are you nuts?? you’re sending your kids to public school” but we’ve been really happy with the school so far. this is only their third week but we researched and found a really great public school with lots of parent involvement and we went with it. i love that they get to learn about another culture so deeply. they are learning hawaiian words and the pledge in hawaiian. i told ivan i want to move somewhere in south america next and just soak it all in. IMG_4056 IMG_4191 IMG_4212ivan and i have been talking a lot lately about life and our future and what we want for our kids. one thing hawai’i has taught us is that we don’t need things to make us happy. we are the happiest we’ve ever been right here in the middle of the ocean. we have a handful of clothes. we don’t have tv. my kids don’t ask for every toy they see on commercials. we have the ocean and skatepark right here and it keeps them happy and busy. deep down i think ivan and are gypsies. we love to wander and travel. i sort of hate being tied to anywhere. i’ve seen a lot of families traveling the world with their kids. i sort of want to do that!IMG_4222we’ve been dealing with all sorts of skin issues with jack lately. the crazy weird bumps/rash he had in seattle returned. i went to 3 different pediatricians in seattle and a pediatrician here and no one could figure it out. i finally took him to a dermatologist in hawai’i and he said its eczema. which is weird because it doesn’t look like the eczema my other kids had. its manifesting differently but its got me on a path to heal him. he’s also allergic to mosquitos, think swollen limbs, hot and red and so so itchy. which leads to scratching and we have to cover so he doesn’t get staph again. he was breaking into hives too. not sure what thats about but he got them for days on end. he’s sort of a mess inside and its coming out through his skin. i like to take the most natural approach i can so i contacted my sweet friend shari (enlightened homemaker on instagram. go follow her, you won’t regret it!) we’ve come up with a plan of action. lots of vitamins and supplements and completely clearing out his diet. i see his skin already improving! such a blessing. i’ve been suffering with allergies in hawai’i. i swear we are the allergy family. its really only when the yard guys come but they’re here every other week and then i’m sneezing for days on end along with congestion. i can’t take an allergy pill without feeling groggy and tired, even daytime ones. its weird and i hate being in a fog. ivan came up with a perfect blend of essential oils when he was suffering with allergies. i rub it on my chest and i’m not joking its better than any pill. its a mix of melaleuca, breath and eucalyptus. give it a try! i do it a few times a day and definitely before bed and voila!



life is good on the north shore. that sounds silly even saying it out loud. of course life is good in hawai’i. but like any place you settle it just starts to feel like home and less like vacation. so what does home feel like in hawai’i? north shore is definitely a different environment than say honolulu. ns is laid back, way back. no one is in a hurry to do anything. sooo opposite of seattle. you don’t honk your horn. you let every single car pull out and every pedestrian cross the street. really just a friendly place. the kids don’t wear slippers (flip flops) and if they do they don’t bring them home. they pretty much don’t wear anything but swimsuits. so as you can imagine sunday’s are a bit of a struggle forcing them to wear shoes and real clothes to church. everyone is an auntie or an uncle, this felt strange at first but i think its actually very sweet. its a small town and everyone knows everyone. housing and food is expensive but thats all you’ll really spend money on. no one cares about nice clothes or cars or stuff. the community center offers tons of free classes/activities for the whole family. the kids did a summer program and instantly made friends.


this weeks been crazy to say the least. ava started jr. life guards and was completely exhausted! the second day she came home with a headache that continued for 3 straight days. i took her to the dr. and he said she had heat exhaustion and dehydration. i was filling her up with water and gatorade and kept her comfy in bed. she emerged on the 4th day and we were so relieved/shocked the headache went away. at the same time jack got attacked by a mosquito which he scratched the bites to death and got a staph infection. so we’ve been on antibiotics to keep that under control. he started to get a fever and since i’m a worrier i took him to kapiolani (the woman/childrens hospital) they assured me he was fine and the medicine was working. i’m learning staph is a real problem here. my pediatrician is awesome! i’ve been able to text with him back and forth about jacks condition. maybe thats small town living? i don’t know, but i do know i’ve never had a pediatricians personal cell number. elle scratched her knees up a thousand times. a sign of a good childhood! i’ve kept an eye on her battle wounds making sure theres no staph. oh and henri hurt his back. not sure if it was falling off his skate board or his attempt at flipping off the hammock. whatever it was it did him good. he’s hunched over and becoming a regular at the chiropractor. since getting my real estate license i’ve been sitting in the office a few days a week. its fun getting back out into the world of adults. the flexibility is great too. i’ve gone to some amazing brokers open houses and toured beautiful homes.


its been hot and humid. luckily we have air in our bedroom. most houses don’t have air so we feel pretty lucky. my hair goes flat 2 seconds after i curly it and it seems as though we are always sweating. but the beach is 10 seconds away and the water is warm so that makes all your troubles fade. we actually haven’t been in a while with ava and then jack being under the weather. we are itching to get out there again! i’ve gotten back in the habit of baking and cooking. i’ll share some favorite recipes soon. i got so out of it in seattle. we had a galley kitchen and it was too small to maneuver around in. its so nice to cook a meal for my family. we eat dinner on the lanai every night and chat about everyones day. we don’t have a tv. shocker! if you know ivan you know this is a battle. i’m currently winning but we will see how long it lasts. i love not having a tv as my crutch to keep the kids busy. instead they go outside and have an amazing childhood. it keeps me from bing watching random shows and staying up too late. i don’t know much of whats going on in the news. i hear bits and pieces. for me its better that way. i can’t help whats going on across the world and hearing all the bad really eats at me. i can help my community though, i’ve been researching things to get the whole family involved in. i’ll post what we end up doing.


life’s good right now. i’m homesick of course. hopefully we’ll go back in a few months. ivan’s bro and his wife are visiting in a week and my sister comes in august. we are so so excited to see family. it’s funny the longer i am away from az the more good i see in it. i’m sure i’ve just forgotten what 117 feels like but i really do love my home state! another thing i’ve been thinking about lately is what will it be like to never have a change in season? warm all the time? what about at christmas, will we be sweating at christmas? i guess i’ll find out.





this cute boys mom wanted him to get a picture with my kids at the dole factory while we waited for the pineapple express. i snapped one too. jacks not so sure.



jack’s lizard hunting. always



the people of walmart. we’ve been told we couldn’t come in costco because we weren’t dressed enough. walmart doesn’t care. we are lucky if we can come up with enough clothes to be let in. notice jack has no slippers.




tahoe trimmed our coconut trees. fresh is definitely best.



dance party. i love that jack is finally old enough to enjoy wild boy stuff with henri.



ava and her cute friends at jr. lifeguards.



this view at diner was pretty great. we went to a new place in haleiwa. the view was amazing. i’m still craving the lobster salad and hot donuts.



working on the rainiest day yet.

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