Tailgating Hawaii-style

One of the perks of our current home is the proximity to the University of Hawaii Aloha Stadium. We have been lucky enough to attend a few games this season but this weekend was Hawaii’s last game of the year. With an 0-11 record it wasn’t looking too good for the Rainbow Warriors but they were playing Army and tickets were half price. Definitely can’t pass up that deal!

Hawaiians know how to tailgate and hanging out for hours ahead of time is part of the fun. Our set up was pretty modest compared to the fans that had multiple canopies, full size propane grills and a buffet spread able to feed dozens.




We were just fine with our single canopy, mini grill and enough food for us all to be stuffed. Also playing some cornhole is always a great time. We played couple vs. couple and ended up tying one game each. (Cornhole is a bean bag toss game, can be very competitive and can cause rifts in marriages, ha! Let’s just say it’s good we pulled out a win in our second game!) Technically speaking we aren’t really supposed to play it at all in the parking lot, the rules say no throwing anything and that includes balls, frisbees and bean bags. However the parking lot we parked in is the quietest one farthest from the stadium itself. I think security patrols where all the college kids hang out.DSC_0406


Hawaii fans! Really, they are just there for the snacks. After all that tailgate food, as soon as we sat down Mckenna was asking for a gyro.DSC_0414


Photobombed by my lovely daughter…20131201-094041.jpg




The Hawaii vs. Army game was also military night so we had halftime show that was honoring military members as well as wounded warriors. There was also a promotion ceremony for some lucky Army soldiers. Second Lieutenant to First Lieutenant. (I have no clue what that means)DSC_0445


Small sample of the forces present on Oahu.  Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.DSC_0450


Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Congresswoman was also there to honor the military. She is a veteran herself. I really like her and it was hard to not go get my picture taken with her but I hate being ‘that person’.DSC_0457


One of the last plays of the game, and Hawaii pulled out a win. It’s always fun to go to the games, but WAY better to get to see the home team WIN! Go ‘bows!



May Day is Lei Day!


May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, and it’s all about celebrating Hawaiian culture. I love it! Everywhere you go people are wearing fresh flower leis and it is such a fun celebration! We weren’t able to get downtown to see the festivities but we will for sure get there next year!


One of the traditions is to elect a royal court with a King and Queen and princes and princesses. We didn’t go see them but we have our own royalty in the house, Omar was elected to Kindergarten prince which is quite the accomplishment! The school is having their big May Day event later in the month and we will get to watch all of the grades dance a hula and the royal court will be dancing their own hula as well! I can’t wait!


But to celebrate lei day, the kids got to make some fresh flower leis themselves. Gotta love it! The plumeria are everywhere around here and Mckenna wants to start making them more often!

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Six months in Hawaii… living life

So we’ve been here six months now. I still love it and I love the fact that I am learning my way around better and better all the time, we have a dentist, a favorite beach, and the weather is still pretty damn awesome in January.

I am still having a hard time finding someone who I really click with. I have a horrible habit of meeting someone, getting along really well and thinking there is more than a casual friendship there. If I am friends with you I want to be FRIENDS with you.  But it’s hard finding that, it doesn’t come around all that often. So I thank my lucky stars and my unlimited minutes cell phone plan that I have my bestie Janelle. 

I have been up to my eyeballs in stuff to do, football, FRG meeting stuff, all the everyday stuff that goes along with living. Just keeping busy so we can knock off more time that daddy has been gone.

I have lots of stuff that I am working on around the house, still exercising which is good, been pretty good with how I have been eating. I really have no complaints, if my husband were home with me I would be pretty damn happy. I really wouldn’t mind staying here for 5 years instead of 3, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Honolulu Zoo

DSC_0130aOne of our last ‘fill up two weeks off of school with fun’ fun days was to hit up the zoo. Of course when I suggested it you would have thought it was the meanest thing ever. They were turning into mole people in the days after Christmas, blinds closed, eyes glued to tv and video games. I finally dragged them out of the house and made it to the zoo all on my own, no gps needed. What a great feeling that is! Also bonus #2, I found a parking spot in the lot right next to the zoo. $1/hour parking, heck yes!

Let me go ahead and get my flower photos out of the way here. Can I just say that I love how well landscaped this zoo is? It is so beautiful and lush.



First up, the Keiki Zoo, or petting zoo (keiki means kids/children in Hawaiian). One of my favorite parts is the koi tank that the kids can crawl through. The koi are huge and beautiful. The first time we came here Omar refused to go in so I am happy he actually decided to do it this time. Don’t my kids look like they like each other in that picture? False!



It wasn’t too crowded which was great, we took our time and walked and walked and walked. One thing that drove us crazy was the lions! You could hear them calling from all over the park but we could never catch a glimpse. I know some new cubs were just born so maybe they were still inside but I wanted to get some pictures of mom or dad making all that noise!

We saw pretty much everyone else though. Thanks for cooperating zoo animals!

los animales


The meerkats were cracking me up, they looked like three little old men on a park bench. And the baboon was mid-yawn, he just looks menacing but was in fact being very sweet, although look at those canines! Yikes! The lemurs and turtle were having a standoff which was quite amusing, they couldn’t get to their island and he was very contentedly sunbathing. And Ms. Rhino, well she was posing pretty!

And of course the awesome trees that are all over make for a perfect backdrop, I love the banyan trees!









If you live here make sure you take a trip out to the zoo, they have military and kama’aina discounts! We paid $8/adult $4/kid. Not bad! Also you are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks so pack a picnic lunch and a blanket!


Joint Spouses’ Conference 2012 Recap

Okay so this was awhile ago but I had such a great time and took SO many pictures I wanted to share it. Also I had forgotten my camera and had to drive home and get it so after doing all that these pictures MUST see the light of day!

The Joint Spouses’ Conference is a military spouse conference that is hosted each year by one of the branches. This year Navy had the privilege and the conference was held on Ford Island.


We had the CO of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam open up the conference, then a really cute little message from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Dempsey and his wife.


I was actually second guessing my decision to go at the last minute, I was getting some major anxiety over the fact that I was going to know NO ONE! I found out the night before that one of my friends from football was going to be there so at least I had someone to eat with!



We got great little welcome baskets and a tote bag full of more goodies. The entire conference was decorated SO well, I was very impressed! Those ladies did an awesome job!

There was a large list of workshops you could take: cooking, painting, photography, sailing, hula, lei making, business classes. You name it. I went with Lei Making, Beyond the Mai Tai, Hula and Chocolate.

First up Lei Making. I really enjoyed this and was amazed at how easy it is, just threading flowers. Tuber roses smell AMAZING! We also did a ti leaf lei which involved twisting ti leaves. It was not really complicated but my brain is old and tired! So I ended up with a ti leaf bracelet! This workshop was put on by the Hale Koa hotel which is a military hotel in downtown Waikiki. The women were great and VERY informative. Seriously I would love to take some Hawaiian studies classes!



Sporting my new handmade lei of purple orchid and tuber rose!




Next up was Beyond the Mai Tai, which was also hosted by the Hale Koa, but the bartenders this time. And yes it was still rather early in the day for drinking but what the heck. We had some delicious samples, got some great recipes and all got a little bit tipsy. Good times!



Lunch was delicious! We had a ton of dessert and it was hilarious to see all of the photographers whip out their cameras to take pictures of the food. I know my husband rolls my eyes at me but it is so nice to be among like minded people!




Our guest speaker was Mrs. Hawaii who happens to also be a Navy veteran and current military spouse. She was not your normal pageant queen but was really down to earth. She is doing some amazing work with childhood obesity and nutrition in Hawaii.

IMG_9907aWe also had some adorable little hula dancers but my camera was on a wonky setting and none of the pictures turned out.

After lunch it was time for Hula lessons! This was a class that was insanely out of my comfort zone. I don’t dance. Like, ever. Well maybe if I’ve had enough to drink but the mai tais had worn off by now! But this is something I really wanted to do and thankfully we had a great instructor, the same lady from the Hale Koa that taught me lei making! I don’t have any pictures because it’s pretty impossible to take photos and hula. But I had a GREAT time and actually remembered most of the steps!

Now, time for Chocolate making! This was fun basic intro to working with chocolate.

We had our ingredients laid out in front of us, ganache with some different flavorings like lavender, cocoa powder, cayenne, sea salt,  and nuts. I thought mine looked like the Hawaiian islands.




And here I am with all of my finished truffles. And a chocolate dipped strawberry.

IMG_9919aI really liked the sea salt as well as the cayenne truffles. I accidentally gave Omar one of the cayenne ones when we got home. He was like ‘what is wrong with this, its burning my mouth!’ Sorry! My kids aren’t fans of ‘weird’ chocolates!

We wrapped up with some more food as well as a silent auction and a basket raffle and I was beat! I had a really great day and met some really nice women. Really my only complaint was that everyone had their iPhones in front of their face all day. We aren’t there to check FaceBook, we are there to meet people and have a good time. It was kind of annoying but whatever. I am really looking forward to going again next year, I think the Army will be hosting.


And here are just some random photos from the day:IMG_9874







Thankful November {November 13}

Day #13

Today I am thankful for my flag football team. We had a practice tonight and had a bunch of rookies join as well. As much as I may have been burned out at the end of the season it was great to sprint (only the first few, then yuck), run routes and just shoot the shit with some really fun ladies. I stepped SO far out of my comfort zone when I joined the team and now I am SO happy I did.