i wrote this post when we were living in hawaii. i haven’t checked this blog in so long. i hopped on and have a few posts i had never entered. since food is one of my all time loves i figure i better put this one out there. here are a few of our favorite spots to eat around hawaii. enjoy!


hukilau cafe- i love the macadamia nut pancakes, ivan gets the hungry hawaiian.


pap ole’s- we get the same thing here. their mac nut pancakes have a mac nut syrup on top. i prefer hukilau because they grind the nuts up into the pancakes. hukilau just uses regular syrup.


boots and kimo’s- in kailua. same breakfast. creatures of habit i guess.


teds bakery- donuts, spam and eggs, chocolate croissants, haupia pie.


fumi’s shrimp truck- hands down best shrimp truck. we like the spicy garlic shrimp, extra sauce.


ocean bree’z- spicy garlic shrimp. this sauce is more of a creamy sauce.


seven brothers- we split the paniolo exchange bbq sauce for teriyaki. so good and huge. fries are yummy too.


fiji market- the chicken curry is amazing!! half moon pie is a pineapple custard flavored treat. delicious!


impossibles pizza- 5 cheese, pepperoni, bbq. all of his pizza’s are so good. lately we’ve been just calling and asking him to make whatever he wants and its always good! he’s only open thurs-sat. get the ranch!


sandy’s sandwiches- sandy puts all the love into his sandwiches. you can tell by the way he explains the process. we love the turkey brie.


elephant thai truck- pad kee mao, vegetarian noodles, ka pow, spring rolls. this truck is amazing and the outdoor seating is so perfect at night.


opal thai- this is ivans very favorite spot. opal is so nice and pretty fun too. you tell him what you like/dislike and he orders for you. trust him! its all amazing.


kahuku farms- fresh from the farm. you can see it all being grown right there. get the pizza and do yourself a favor and get the banana bread with ice-cream. the best dessert ever.


pupukea grill- get the poke!


matsumotos shave ice- coconut add cream.


hi slush- you can find them at the waimea farmers market thurs 2-5 or turtle bay until 4. the pineapple slush with extra honey is heaven.


leonards malasadas- i love the plain sugar and the chocolate filled. ivan likes vanilla filled. if you’re staying on the north shore and don’t want to drive to honolulu they have a food truck location by old navy in waipahu.


And Ivan’s favorite sspam musubi from 7-11



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.



it’s been so long since i’ve had a chance to sit and write. i love blogging. i really do. one of my favorite things is to look back through my blog and see how much my family has changed. these babes don’t keep. they just keep growing and how sweet it is for me to be able to look back at all the special memories we’ve shared. the bigger these kids get the busier i feel and the less time i have to write. i catch myself playing catch up, and as much as i’d like to stay on top of it, catch up is better than nothing at all. so here goes the last few months and i hope to get back to regularly writing now that the dust has settled.


seattle was amazing for henri and reassured us that leaving az was the best thing we could’ve done for him.  he did so great in seattle. not one steroid, inhaler or allergy pill. you would’ve never known he suffered so much back in az. but we all hated the rain. its depressing, dark and cold for far too long for this family to be happy. not to mention we felt like too big of a family for the city. i totally get why families move to the suburbs. we missed our yard!! seattle was such a fun experience. we made the best friends, who better come visit us in hawaii!! i’m so grateful for the time we had there and the chance we had to experience city living. as our year was coming to an end in seattle we knew we could either stick out another year, move east to the burbs or make another leap and move to hawaii. our vacation to hawaii was a blast back in january and it just felt like the right move. hawaii was in the running initial when we decided to move to seattle. of course its scary moving to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean but we always go with the mindset- what’s the worst that could happen? we don’t like it and move home? if thats the worst thing that could happen i think we are in good shape. we knew seattle wasn’t our forever so we did it, we moved all the way to hawaii.


the sunshine has been so amazing. living in az my whole life i had no idea how much i really need that vitamin d to stay the happiest momma i can be. its been a welcome weather change. so we are here. we’ve bounced from vacation rental to vacation rental. searched high and low for a house. we moved here april 27 and just moved into our house july 1. finding a house ain’t easy. its a humbling experience house hunting in hawaii. houses are mostly weekly vacation rental, overpriced or horrible living conditions. we knew if we were gonna make the big move to hawaii we wanted to live on the north shore. its rural up here, leaving us very few options for housing. we feel so grateful to have found a place that is clean, updated, isn’t shared and has a yard. being back on an acre just feels right!


i started real estate classes right away and got my license. i found a great brokerage close to the house. i’m so excited to dive right in. i’ve always loved houses. i know, how weird does that sound? but really i love looking at them, i love driving neighborhoods wondering what they look like inside. i love model homes, old run down homes. all of them. i think this will be the perfect fit for me. i’m really excited for this new adventure and so lucky to have ivan who is so supportive and my biggest fan.


whats life in hawaii like? amazing! its beautiful. the people are so nice. i don’t know if its coming from the city where people are sort of closed offor if i just had so many people warning me that no one likes the haoles, that i was scared we would be hated. but its the opposite. the hawaiian’s are so so nice. people stop and let your car in while in traffic. they wave and say hi. island life is definitely slower. in seattle we had everything at our finger tips. i could get amazon to deliver within the hour. groceries right at my door step. everything is a drive from where we are but i’m ok with that. hawaii has a lot of fun programs at the community center, library and jr. life guard all super cheap or free. the ohana is the most import thing and it shows. we are all so so happy.


so is this where we settle? i don’t know. we are here for now. maybe it’ll be forever. maybe it’ll be for a bit. maybe we’ll eventually land back in az. i do miss home, family and friends. we feel so lucky to be on this adventure. i know moving around isn’t for everyone. but for us, we love it. we love all these new experiences. i can’t think of a better gift to give my kids than the experiences they get living in different states, experiencing other cultures. we were sitting on the lanai today and ivan and i were talking about how amazing this life is. you have the ability to do anything you want. you can achieve any of your goals and dreams with hard work and dedication. don’t let your fear of what if hold you back. going through all we went through with jack and being so close to losing him makes the what if it doesn’t work out and what if we have to go home all ok. because we still have each other and thats all that matters.


ill post some fun activities and places we love here in hawaii for anyone visiting later this week.





for christmas this year we decided to gift the kids with a trip to hawaii. they don’t need anymore toys and i love giving memories that last a life time. christmas morning they each opened a box with a lei, swimsuit and bracelet that said hawaii. they were so excited! i think i might have been the most excited. our trip was booked for january. i’ve been told by pretty much everyone to take a vacation in january to help break up the rain so thats what we did. we decided to go to oahu. ivan and i have been to the big island and the kids have never been to any of the islands. oahu has a lot of family friendly amenities. we had the best time. hawaii was a great change of pace from city life. the hawaiian’s are such nice people and the island is so beautiful!


first stop leonards for malasadas. we tried one of each. the coconut ended up being our favorite. they come out hot and fresh so eat them right away!



next up was matsumotos for shave ice. once again coconut was our favorite. lots of condensed milk on top please! the kids liked rainbow.


elle always posing. ha! i have to tell her to sit and smile otherwise she’s doing a strange pose, half the time it looks completely uncomfortable.


one of the most beautiful sunsets i’ve ever seen. i mean look at those colors. stunning! we grabbed pizza with some friends who live in hawaii and took it to the beach to watch surfers. impossibles pizza is right up there with some of the best pizza i’ve had. i liked the pork and sweet onion pizza. the ranch is soooo good. ivan liked the pepperoni and sausage.





we spent the morning at pearl harbor. i wasn’t sure how this would go over with the kids but they loved it and it ended up being one of my favorite moments of the trip. the video you watch before you go on the boat out to the uss arizona was so informative and interesting. they have actual footage of the attack. it was a great history lesson for us all.


dole plantation for dole whips.


chinamans hat. i’d love to paddle out and hike it next time.


view from pillbox hike. we only made it about half way up. we all had flip flops and swimsuits on. not the best hiking gear. the view is beautiful.


can you tell elle loves the ocean? we loved kailua beach. the water is a beautiful blue-ish green and there were virtually no waves.


sunset and pipeline on the other hand had 30 ft waves. we swam in this very spot in sharks cove 2 days before these massive waves came in. they were amazing to watch. i could’ve sat there for hours.


we took a stroll around the temple.



my boys. jack didn’t once get called a girl, which is amazing. he fit right in with all the surfers. his hair curled right up too. making it even more impossible for me to cut. i wish henri’s was long again. maybe someday. i don’t know what it is with boys and long hair but i think theres nothing better.


my kids get a long so much better out in nature. we’ve been really cooped up in seattle with all the rain. just getting outside and being kids was so good for them.


take me back!! like right now. i loved every minute of that warm sun.


some of our hawaii favorite-

impossibles pizza


pupukea grill- best poke

kahuku shrimp- spicy garlic shrimp (way better than giovanni)


dole plantation- dole whip

papa ole- mac nut pancakes

north shore taco’s- this was avas favorite. i liked the shrimp taco’s and pineapple salsa

seven brothers- burgers

boots and kimo’s- mac nut pancakes

lanikai juice- acai bowl

magnolia bakery- banana pudding

duke- hula pie

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