Judd Trail and Ginger Jackass Pools

Do this. Seriously. If you live on this island you MUST do this. Let me show you why.

First off, super easy hike, a little muddy after some rain but still totally doable. Mckenna and I wear wearing slippers (flip-flops) I don’t know if that makes us seem more like locals or more like stupid tourists that I make fun of all the time when I see them wearing flip-flops/heels/sandals on hikes.DSCF1182aI do love walking through bamboo forest! Judd Memorial Trail is a great hike even on its own. It is a loop and is great for beginner hikers. It goes through groves of bamboo forest and Cook pines. Really lovely. When you first get there you can go left and loop around the long way or take a right and get right to the action (after a half mile or so of hiking that is) There is a stream crossing at the beginning of the hike that necessitates hopping from rock to rock or just jumping in and wading across. I jumped in and helped the kids climb across.

Oh yes we were hiking with kids, 1,2,3,4,5,7 and 11 year olds. No excuses!

You will be able to see the pools from the trail, it is a bit of an incline going down and was a bit slippery/muddy but we all made it. We weren’t 100% sure it was the right place because there was NO ONE else there. (Awesome right?!)

This is the upper pool, great for kids. Pretty shallow great for splashing.

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This is the lower pool… Big and deep and absolutely wonderful to swim in.

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The best part? The awesome natural waterslide that goes into the bottom pool. It is slick and covered with algae so you fly in there! I didn’t touch bottom at all, and later in the day some guys were jumping in off some of the taller rocks (10-15ft) so the pool is pretty deep in the part closest to the falls.

DSCF1224aFirst things first, as I was poking around the water I slipped on a slick smooth rock and went ass over teakettle into the pool below. THANK GOD I didn’t hurt myself, I was more concerned with my dog as I was falling. Of course my friends, what is the first thing they do? Take a picture.

fall2(Bowser is like ‘Oh hell no, I am not going down) The stuff in my backpack barely got wet because I stood up so fast and I even found my sunglasses later in the day.

fallI am so happy that I am here to entertain my friends.

DSCF1202aMy camera started not focusing for awhile so a lot of my pictures look like this. I am very irritated. Thankfully it didn’t last the entire day so I was able to pictures like this:

DSCF1220aAnd this:

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Waterslide video

 

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Dinner on the Beach

The joys of living in Hawaii…

You can get a call from a friend, grab something to eat, and meet up for an enjoyable evening in 80 degree weather.

We have decided that we are going to do this once a week. It was just so relaxing and the sunsets were awesome. Also Mckenna was at a sleepover and missed out so she really wants to go!

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It’s hard to eat dinner when your mom is kissing all over your face… What can I say? He is pretty irresistible!DSC_0379a

 

Can’t beat the view… gotta love it.DSC_0381a

 

Splashing around in the nice warm water. 6pm beach days are a bonus…DSC_0393a

 

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There were baby fish ALL over the place, these ones clumped up into a heart. Too cute.DSC_0414a

 

Love it!DSC_0397a

The Start of a Homemade Pantry

So for awhile now I’ve been making much more of our snacks and meals from scratch. I make dinner pretty much every night and I’ve been trying to eliminate as much processed food as we can. This is due in part to trying to eat clean, but also to reduce the amount of packaging/waste I create.

I bought a book last year that I loved, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, I was inspired but still, it looked like a lot of work and lets face it… I am lazy!

Well today I got in a mood to play around in the kitchen and make some snacks and had a GREAT time.  A lot of this was pretty basic stuff but it was really cool to show it to my kids. And also to show them that sometimes disasters happen in the kitchen, learn from them and tweak your recipe!

Today we managed to make: butter, buttermilk (really by default because it is the leftovers from butter), fruit snacks, granola bites, cheese crackers, potato chips, compound butter, buttermilk pancakes and smoothie pops.

Yes it was a lot. Yes I was in the kitchen for 4+ hours. And yes I still have a sinkfull of dishes I will deal with later!

We had a couple of fails in there, the first batch of potato chips and the fruit snacks. The potato chips burned, the fruit snacks don’t taste like anything.  Second batch of potato chips we couldn’t stop eating hot off the sheet pan and I will revisit the fruit snacks with a stronger fruit juice.

DSC_0365Pretty but they don’t tast like much… Mckenna wants me to try them with lemonade. Its a really simple recipe, 1 cup juice with 4 packs unflavored gelatin. Microwave for 1 min and pour into a mold. Pop out when set. Target had this one in the dollar section. I was mad they didn’t turn out because I haven’t bought my kids fruit snacks in probably two years because 1)they are crap 2) they are individually wrapped crap.

Next up potato chips, which were a fail turned into a victory!

First thing to do, borrow a mandolin from your always accommodating neighbor! Then warn your son approximately 8,000 to NOT TOUCH IT!

cook1Easy peasy, cut potatoes, soak in salt water, pat dry on dish towel, toss with oil and salt, cook in oven. The first batch got way too toasty way to fast.

cook2The ones on the left were burned, the ones on the right were delicious. It was a fine line to try not to cross! These would be much easier in a deep fryer but, no, I don’t need one of those in my house. EVERYTHING would be going in the fryer!

cook3Butter wasn’t too exciting I guess. Next time I am going to make him shake it in a jar! Rotten child. Okay it was a little tedious, watching the mixer go isn’t too exciting. When the cream turned into whipped cream that was kind of exciting until I told them it was salted whipped cream. Eeew, not so much. I was wrist deep in butter at the end so didn’t take any pictures of the process. Once the whipped cream breaks you will see the butter solids separate from the buttermilk. Food is magic, I am telling you. Drain the buttermilk into a container squeezing as much out of the butter as you can, I got a cup of buttermilk from my pink of cream. From there keep kneading the butter with cold hands rinsing it under cold water until it isn’t releasing any more liquid.

But no, we couldn’t stop there could we? Got to make it fancy! We went with the compound butter, Omar picked strawberry, Mckenna was vanilla-cinnamon-brown sugar, and I went with pesto. They are all DELICIOUS!  The pesto one went right onto some french bread that Omar and I were fighting over!

The other two butters as well as the buttermilk? I had other plans in mind for them. (Oh yeah, I also made a ready pancake mix!) Buttermilk pancakes for dinner with some yummy homemade butter on top. We didn’t even need syrup these were so good!

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Tiring but really fun as well. I think the kids had a good time seeing how easy it is to make something out of a few humble ingredients. I am looking forward to making a few more homemade items, especially mozzarella and toaster pastries.

Oldie But Goodie: Gonzales Byass Bodega Tour

While I was going through my hard drive I kept finding tons of old pictures that I would love to post from our years in Spain. We did a few different sherry tours while we lived there but this was … Continue reading

Dinner Al Fresco

DSC_0340So the other night I suggest we eat dinner outside. The kids jumped right on it. We NEVER eat out on our lanai and it’s a shame. Unfortunately I am SO unhappy with my backyard/lanai that I just don’t use it like I would like. I canNOT grow grass… The green you see up there? Mostly weeds and some groundcover. The red dirt is everywhere and Bowser tracks it up on the cement lanai and makes it all dirty and when he runs back and forth the dirt gets all over the and chairs so I have to hose them off. (First world problems, amiright?) We I finally decided it was going to be worth it, I made a delicious pesto chicken dinner, Mckenna cleaned off the patio furniture and set the table, and we had a nice relaxing meal out there. Well until Bowser realized that now everyone’s food was at eye level for the first time (we eat at a counter height table). I even enjoyed a cup of coffee out there when was over, the lanai is great, there is even a ceiling fan. If I could only grow grass I would be a happy camper!

(Also citronella candles, those mosquitoes were annoying!)

 

Trouble in Paradise

It’s not all aloha here in Hawaii. Unfortunately I had to deal with that last night. Someone broke into my car and swiped my GPS.

Theft is one of the downside to living here. There are a lot of cars broken into, items stolen from porches, bags swiped at the beach, you get the idea. I have been pretty conscious about what I leave in my car and house security. The only thing in my car worth taking was my gps, I don’t even keep a garage door opening in there because I don’t want someone to break into my car and then be able to break into my house.

It just sucks to have your stuff stolen and I’ve probably been lucky that this is the first time I ever remember having something stolen and having to file a police report. Seriously, I was SO nervous to dial 911! Honolulu PD doesn’t have a non-emergency line…

Also having your car alarm go off at almost 11pm is not good for your heart. I ignored it for a few seconds then got up and peeked out my window and saw it was MY car… run downstairs to grab the keys and call security to have them walk to my car with me. I should have just called HPD then but honestly I didn’t really think someone had done anything, maybe kids bumping it or something? I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking I guess. Security came and walked me out to the car and after checking inside see my gps is missing (it was in the center console)… Sucks for me, now I am gps-less and this island has some tricky spots!

What also sucks is the fact that I normally park right in front of my house under a street light, last night there was someone in my spot so I parked across the street in a shadowing dark parking spot. Both the security guy and one of the police officers mentioned that they always see my car parked in that same spot in front of my house. Guess it was the wrong day to change up parking places!

Update:

OMG, I think I found my stolen GPS on craigslist! I can’t wait to call the police tomorrow. I am 95% certain it’s mine.