Bishop Museum Family Field Trip with Young Children

The Bishop Museum Is a great experience for the whole family. Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, History, Art, and Science with kid friendly hands on activities in a beautiful setting.

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum located in the Kaliki district of Honolulu is quite impressive. The museum itself is stunning. Built in the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style and is home to over 24 million natural history specimens and Polynesian cultural artifacts. 

There is something for everybody in the family here at the different buildings and immaculate grounds.  There is a Planetarium (the oldest in Polynesia), The Sports Hall of Fame, Art and History in the Hawaiian and Pacific Hall, Science Adventure Center, Libraries and Archives, and Native Hawaiian Gardens.  

Before we go any further though I would like to say maybe I am not accustomed to Museums because I thought it quite odd but intriguing all the creepy, morbid, and nude “gems” we found throughout our time here. The kids and I were fascinated around every corner to say the least. Be Forewarned.

The first part of the museum we explored was the planetarium. An educational and research facility devoted to astronomical sciences. They had great hands-on activities for the kids including a small sand bin to shape the earth and build mountains and ravines, that was even equipped with a water shower to fill the oceans you create. There was also small robot arms to control and gravity bowls to throw weighted balls in. Not to mention the planetarium itself!

After that we headed over to the Pacific and Hawaiian Complex Hall that starts off immediately impressive with large hanging marine life like a massive shark and even larger Complete sperm whale skeleton and life like mold. 

These structures were once dubbed “the noblest buildings of Honolulu” and it is easy to see why.  The walls are adorned with a multitude of gorgeous Koa wood display cases. Today this wood is worth more than the original Bishop Museum buildings! 

Each little divet showcases different aspects of Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders history. You will find hand carved statues, replicas of the old ways of living, and plenty of things to make your kids oooh and aahhh. 

My son especially loved seeing all the wayfarers, ships, and other water craft. The collection of tools, old photos, and showcases of expeditions uncovering the old boats was expansive and instilled a sense of wonder in my little ocean lovers. 

There was plenty to keep my touchy kids needs met here also with lots of interactive displays.  There were microscopes to look in, string to weave, ships to build, dress-up in native clothing, and pattern blocking. 

After you wind your way through the four stories you will find yourself on the top floor where you will finally get to come face to face with the behemoth of the sperm whale they pieced back together from the ocean floor. It was truly impressive to see and my kids couldn’t get enough.

When we made our way to the little building that housed the art exhibits things got a little odd but we laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the little bit of time we spent in the dark rooms filled with odd little and big findings.  The art ranged from graphic photos and statues, to large pieces that made you ponder their existence. 

After all the excitement we settled down some in a breezy shaded pavilion in the Native Hawaiian Garden. We were the only ones there so I didn’t mind my kids running about like crazies after all the quiet observing they had just underwent. I decided to skip the cafe and instead we chowed on our favorite quick fuel. The Perfect Bar, oranges, and bottles of water. This is not an ad. I am just seriously in love with these organic protein bars. 

And finally we made it to our favorite part of the day.  The science adventure center.  Designed as a learning center for children, it includes tons of interactive exhibits focused on marine science, volcanology and other related sciences. 

Right when you walk in you are greeted with a large wall covered in shiny disc that show you the impact of air by turning the windmill and  beating on a drum. The kids Loved it. 

You will also find all kinds of creepy crawlies like beetles, insects, birds, and butterflies. This was one of the oddest encounters but my children were quite fascinated.  The hands presenting dead birds. I was happy to get on to the Volcano play room right ahead. 

The volcano had caves, a small slide and when you made you way to the top it was interactive when you pushed buttons to see the effects of gases and geysers.  This was definitely geared to the younger crowd though. I can’t imagine older children being nearly as excited as we were. 

We also got to walk through tunnels of black light painted walls that seemed other worldly that led to a cavern seeming room that made you feel as if you were under the ocean.  Here we met at the “hot spot” and got to watch a live showcase of pouring hot lava.  I learned that my Leo Gemstone Peridot, is actually gem grade lava crystals! Fits right in with my fiery nature…

All-in-all, it was an incredible learning adventure for my children and I.  There was so much to do and see and the kids had a blast exploring the beautiful museum as much as I did. I can see why this is at the top of the must do lists of things to do on Oahu with kids! 

Visit their website for up to date hours, prices, and exhibits.

Have you been to the Museum? If not, I hope this post made you want to go! Let us know if you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Learn + Play Beach Days| Unschooling

Some of the Best Dreams are made in the Sand and Sun

Beach days can be much more than just play and relaxation in the sun.  There are a multitude of ways to make it a learning experience for your toddlers and preschoolers.

After tons of research into trying to find curriculum for unschooling, I realized that was quite an oxymoron, and I would probably have to look at this homeschooling thing another way.  Thus begins my story of hoarding all the knowledge from as many different homeschooling stories, families, scenarios, and learning methods as I can find. 

One little curriculum I am very glad I purchased is called The Peaceful Preschool and it has a multitude of great ways to incorporate playful learning into your days. 

I went with the Ocean Guide because I have always been a beach baby myself and I don’t plan on ever being too far from the ocean for too long.

Here is some of the ways I use the simple curriculum to teach my babes phonics, counting, fine motor skills, large motor skills, practical life skills, and art all at a leisurely day at the beach and evening at home. 

Just playing in the sand and sun is a great way to get out the energies of my always overly energetic children and to build bonding relationships.

homeschool kids bonding at beach
Brother and Sister Playing Happily Together is Always Good Learning

It also builds on 

  • Physical development: Children playing with sand and water are practicing eye-hand coordination and using fine motor skills to scoop, sift, funnel, and pour.
  • Social and emotional skills: The beach is such a great place for my children to practice cooperative play and sharing. It also helps them explore and enjoy the sensory experience of manipulating fluid and solid materials. Digging in sand or splashing water also provides an acceptable way for them to vent anger or frustration when the cooperating gets a little too tough.

After letting them have some much needed wild and free time where I get to sit back and see what kind of things are coming to them naturally we had some guided play time. There are lots of fun ways to promote learning without them knowing they are doing anything but playing.

children learning about fish in homeschool day at beach
Getting an Up-Close Experience with A Fish Caught in Net
  • Phonics Tracing letters in the sand, arranging shells into letters, pointing out and finding things around you and their letters ( what do you see that starts with B) 
  • Counting seashells or other treasures, asking them to build 3 sand castles, or dig 5 holes to put 2 seashells in. Count the people around you or point out that there are 3 girls, or 6 other children swimming.  Finding numbers is easy. Sneak in a few counting exercises throughout your time on the beach instead of all at once so they don’t get burnt out or catch on to your sneaky teachers ways.
  • Fine Motor Skills will come naturally at the beach.  Try giving them funnels and measuring cups, burying small items in the sand or asking them to place seashells on sand castles, build shapes and letters or numbers with shells or small toys
  • Large Motor Skills Fly a kite, building sand castles, play with beach balls, have them put on their own floats and go for a swim, pretend to fly like a seagull, or inch across the sand like a sea turtle
  • Practical Life Skills have them help pack the beach bag and decide what should go, fold the towels, discuss beach safety, have them apply sunscreen themselves or say the body parts of where you are applying and why it is important, pick up trash found on beach and take home to recycle or throw away, check the tides and discuss low tide and high tide

Our favorite afternoons on the beach are simple strolls collecting treasures. We love to bring a basket and find as many different varieties of specimens as possible. We also collect sand to bring home for lots of different play and science experiments. 

Baskets full of Beach Treasures

Once home we will look through ocean encyclopedias or use the home computer to identify all the fun things we found.  

After we know what we are working with we mix a cleaning solution of warm water and dish soap or a touch of bleach and grab a toothbrush or straw cleaner to scrub our treasures clean. 

We use the shells, sea grass, broken bits of coral, and other fun treasures as painting and art materials, for wind chimes, fun class materials for forming letters, numbers and shapes. 

Baking the sand makes for a great science and kitchen lesson in one. Learning about temperature safety, while learning kitchen etiquette and cleanliness, hypothesizing about how long it will take to go from wet to dry, and guessing whether it would burn or not, were all part of the fun in drying and sanitizing the sand for future play. 

On this day we glued some of the sand we prepped to a piece of paper and then painted the ocean and sky. We also glued some small pieces of shells and seaweed after it was all dry. In retrospect we should have painted first then glued the sand but that was part of our learning process and I didn’t mind that I got to explain that to them as we learned it together. 

Learning at the beach is really quite easy and there are so many options.  I like to take it slow and not do to much in one day, or push to much at one time as it seems to fustrate everybody and take away from the learning and just plain happiness of the experience. 

So grab up your kiddos and get to the beach for a great day of playful learning!

Let me know some of your favorite beach day activities and if you homeschool I would love to hear how you incorporate learning in your nature play!

Morning Detox Drink For A Healthy Happy Start To Your Day

My mornings have changed drastically since having babies and starting businesses. I went from thinking 11am was an early start to the day to now being up well before the sun (and hopefully the babies).

My mornings are sacred to me now and something I look forward to. Having a great morning ritual helps so much for those early morning hours and creating a happy healthy feeling to kickstart any and every day.

One of my Must-Do’s is to Drink Something Healthy!

healthy woman drinking detox drink staring serenely at ocean with beautiful background
Pro Tip: Find Somewhere That Makes You Feel Happy and/or Serene 

Some days I follow the 30 in 30 rule made famous by Tim Ferriss. Which is to consume 30g of protein within 30min of waking up. I nearly accomplish this by drinking a Vega Shake and eating 2 eggs. Technically 26g but it works wonders for me. 

But other days when I need a little more feel good, that dig down deep, all encompassing, happy feel good to start my day,

I Detox.


Lately that has been most mornings. And it is an addicting accomplished feeling that lends an unparalleled way to start your day.

So without Further ado

The Best Day Inducing Detox Drink

What You Need

  • 2-3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Half of a Lemon
  • 2 Dashes of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Dashes of Cinnamon 
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Local Honey
  • 2 – 3 Cups of Warm Water

These numbers are estimates as I tend to just throw my drink together and eye it but it always comes out pretty close and I would say these numbers aren’t far off from what I would make. You can always add however much of each ingredient your tastes lean towards. 

There is nothing difficult about making this drink and It takes all of 3 minutes. Simple.

  1. Put some water on the stove
  2. Cut and squeeze half a lemon in my cup
  3. Then pour 2 or 3 glugs of ACV in
  4. Add about 2 dashes of cayenne (because I like it spicy hot)
  5. 2 dashes of cinnamon (to balance the heat)
  6. Add a spoonful of honey
  7. Pour my warm water in, Mix it up and then Sip and Enjoy! 

The Ingredients

Apple Cider Vinegar

Make sure you get the ACV with the “mother” in it. These are strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance. Full of probiotics, acetic acid, and the nutrients, this stuff works wonders inside and out. 

Lemon

I love lemon! Something about it is so fresh and invigorating. It also has a slew of Health Benifits that will make your day even brighter like keeping you hydrated and increasing your metabolism.

Cayenne Pepper

mccormick organic cayenne pepper

I am a spicy lover and add a little heat to most things in life. Even my water. This yummy pepper can stimulate your body’s circulation and reduce acidity; it’s a powerful, spicy little pepper that offers many health benefits.

Cinnamon

mccormick organic ground Saigon cinnamon

At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits

Raw or Local Honey

raw royal Hawaiian honey island wildflower

I am quite obsessed with Raw Hawaiian Wildflower Honey.  I even add it to my diy beauty products! For this detox drink it lends a distinct, sweet flavor my typical raw mountain honey I use for food, just doesn’t touch. And since I am in Hawaii I get the Local benefit of added allergy protection from the pollen that I am already breathing in.

The Benefits

A prebiotic for a healthy gut

  • Eases gut health issues including
  • poor memory,
  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  • depression,
  • sugar cravings,
  • and yeast infections.

Eases Digestive Ailments

  • helps with indigestion,
  • bloating,
  • gas
  • and even heartburn

 And Numerous Other Benefits Include

  • Boosts Energy
  • Improves Heart Health 
  • Helps to Regulate Blood Sugar
  • Help Lower Blood Pressure
  • Clears Skin Ailments
  • nutrient and vitamin dense
  • helps keep the body hydrated as it provides electrolytes to the body.
  • Increases Metabolism helping with weight loss
  • anti-inflammatory to help reduce muscle and joint pain
  •  

Basically, it is a power house and you should see why drinking this in the morning can be such a powerful boost for your day.

 

Product Buying Guide

Royal Hawaiian Honey Raw Island Wildflower -This stuff is amazing. Royal Hawaiian 100% raw, unfiltered honey is harvested on the Big Island and is light golden colored, with a silky mouth feel, with butterscotch overtones and floral bouquet.  I use this in my DIY beauty routines, Health Detox Drinks, and Recipes! 

Braggs Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

Reusable Stainless Steel Straws – Good for the planet, saves money, what better way to enjoy your drink.

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Let me know how your detox went!

Lazy Rainy Day Play Doh Experiments That Are Incredibly Easy

Some days I have no patience and a zero mess tolerance. These simple Play Doh creations are extremely easy to make, have simple and safe on hand ingredients, keep my children engaged in a creative sensory learning environment, and is hassle free when it comes to a quick clean up!

close up of boy holding homemade play doh and step by step instructions of how to make it

Since we have adopted a less is more attitude lately we don’t have a lot of toys or extras around the house. This minimalist lifestyle has not hindered us a bit. In fact, we are able to find so many different ways of getting creative and find most of our time happy and discovering outside. Unfortunately, rainy days happen even in paradise and this mama doesn’t always have a plan or patience to quite deal with 3 energetic little ones, especially when there is something I am obsessing over to get done.

You don’t need a plan, patience, or a lot of time

to get your kids in a good place of engaged, creative learning so you can sneak some time for work, relax, or play. I personally end up doing all three every time we do these fun experiments. The kids and I get to connect through fun sensory play together before I sit and zone out watching them and wonder at their ways, before finally letting them have at it while I do housework, write, or catch up with my photography or blog.
All it takes is finding some simple kitchen and/or nature ingredients and gathering a few household supplies.

Supplies

  • Large Mixing Bowls
  • Rubber Spatulas
  • Bed Sheet
  • Beach Toys
  • Sensory Toys (beads, sticks, etc)

Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baby Powder
  • Sand
  • Oils ( coconut, olive, baby, etc)
  • Clear Handsoap
  • Conditioner

Does that look like a lot of ingredients to you? Pick 1 solid and 1 liquid and have at it. I find myself looking at all the perfect moms and there perfect play-doh recipes on pinterest and I love them for all of the amazing inspiration they give me… BUT

I’m just not that bright, colorful, perfect mama everyday

engaged learning and hands on fun with homemade play doh
Hands on Fun

But my kids don’t care how pretty play-doh is. They care that we made it. They care that we get to play with it together. And most of all they care that they are free to make messes, build, and destroy their creations at their own whims.

We started with our large mixing bowls and rubber spatulas, 1 solid and 1 liquid.Our first attempt and favorite was inspired by this post for 2 Ingredient Fluffy Cloud Dough from Southern Plate. Since I’m not usually one for measuring but prefer to go by eyeing and testing I figured we couldn’t go wrong with this recipe.

For this soft fluffy fun stuff all we did was throw corn starch in a bowl then add some cheap conditioner and start mixing. It always starts off a little crazy and you will think you surely did something wrong. Once you start seeing it clump together just start kneading with your hands and Viola. Play-Doh. I’m not sure if this is magic or science but we are going with both for now.

My daughter picked pink strawberry suave since she is slightly obsessed with pink and my son picked a blue suave conditioner that smelled like ocean breeze. These actually weren’t bad and made the end result a soft, cool to the touch, faintly sweet smelling concoction of fun.

Some of our experiments did not turn out as easy but were still pretty manageable. Like I said, you will come to a point in most of these recipes where you wonder how this will work. When we mixed corn meal and baby oil it was pretty sticky at first. Then we added some hand soap and it was worse. Until it wasn’t. The oils will absorb after enough kneading and even this ridiculous mess of yellow that seems to be completely covering my hands worked up nicely. 

The possibilities seem pretty endless when it comes to experimenting and playing. We loved making pumpkins, snowmen, animals, and shapes. The kids especially loved when I made something and they could destroy in some hilarious new way.

To make sure to keep it an easy to clean and stress free environment for you, just throw down a bed sheet. Our wrinkly sheet from the garage was a wonder and shook out easy outside. Bonus if it is raining for sweet mother nature will clean up the rest for you. It is also extremely easy to sweep off a tile floor.

Snowman made out of homemade play dough, photography of childhood imagination
Snowman in July … Why Not
beach toys for play with diy play dough, creative childhood play
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Worries .. Just Play Kinda Day

The point of this post isn’t to show you how to make play-doh though. It is to let you know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be a little messy and unmeasured and you still can’t fail. Because what it is really about is finding a brief moment to step away from “the rest” and connect with the kids.

For me on this day I was having a rough go. I’m not sure we even got dressed. I had a few million things that I wanted to accomplish and felt the weight of it all with the pressure of being cooped up inside on this rainy day. When I started taking it out on the kids I knew I needed to cope with what I could. The world would wait like always.

20 minutes and a few things thrown together from around the house and I was in a much calmer state of mind. The kids were engaged and happy and I was able to chip away at the mountain of wants, needs, and goals that will always be there.

To look back and see the pictures of my smiling happy babies I get so emotional. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have been able to step out of whatever situation I was obsessing over and would have resented the time the kids were taking from me. I am so grateful for the days I am strong enough to look at a situation and know it can wait just a few minutes.

image of a smiling happy boy
smiling happy girl with bright beautiful blue eyes

Because these smiling faces right here are what it is all for anyway.

Are You Ready For A Lifestyle Change? How I Became Happy & Healthy Enough To Live Life On My Terms

For me all it took was a water bottle. And though it took me a while to realize that.. there’s one thing I can tell you now. It is real. And if the simple word “change” resonates with you then, Yes, you are ready.

DSC_0770

I knew I needed a change. A big one. I had just had my 2nd baby in 2 years and moved into a new home In West Coast Cali. And I was miserable. I was miserable that I was miserable. I had the luxury car, hard-working husband, my two Beautiful children, a boy and girl, complete with all the pretty clothes and accessories. I even had my dream dog. I knew I had it to good to cry. 
IMG_20160815_220753.JPG
But cry I did. My husband was lost in his own life and those babies were wearing me down hard and fast. The dog wasn’t getting walked or groomed enough, and neither was I. And the Clothes.. Oh the clothes. They were in never ending piles of major purchase regret. The car was Amazing though. Thank you Ernie from Witt Lincoln San Diego I still miss that MKX. 
 
Like I said though, All of that changed from a single water bottle. And it was a Glorious water bottle. It had to be. I sucked at drinking water. And this was something that I really wanted to change. So I figured, find a bad ass water bottle, and guzzlin’ would ensue.
 
It worked.

I was drinking 100+ oz a day. That was insane for me.

 
That kick-started a cascade of little changes over the next few months. I was starting to eat more fruits and veggies, while cutting out fast food, and I even started lite stretching at night. One of those nights I happened to be admiring my water bottle when a simple realization hit me That Changed Everything.
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I was still drinking all that water and it wasn’t even something I had to think about anymore, it just was. I had dropped most of my baby weight / all I ate while I was pregnant was cheeseburgers weight, my Husband and I had started taking long walks with the kids And we found a new way of connecting through biking. The dog was getting groomed, I was getting groomed, the kids were still a screaming hurricane with food faces and sticky hands but I was keeping patience with them, and actually guiding them instead of screaming at them. This mental connection reached out and physically hit me.
And it was then that I realized | Every choice was mine
And every choice has a consequence.
 
I know it sounds simple but this was Not an easy thing for me to realize. And realize I did… Now I was responsible for my life.. and the things happening in it; down to the way I was feeling in every given moment. 
 
This required a great deal of mental stretching and breaking out of my own head.   I was so stuck in myself Scared to go out and face my own dreams and aspirations; to just plain get out in the world, simply because I was scared of societal judgments. I had to unlearn a lot of sabotaging programming from my youth and young adult hood. 
BEE_6342-Edit
Now all of a sudden my unsatisfactory marriage, was me being a cold, resentful wife. I didn’t see his faults as an excuse for me anymore, and that left me with a long, hard look at myself. This wasn’t just in my marriage, it was my Life. From my kids, to my estranged relationship with my family.. the way it was so hard for me to build healthy relationships, and friendships, and full circle.. back to me, and the way I have always treated and thought of myself. Insert nights of hidden tears and days of ever-present overwhelm.
 
Now I told you this realization was not easy, but to loosely quote Tim Ferris, author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. In fact, it had broken my mind, and like a butterfly shattering a chrysalis, I emerged with new capabilities.
 
I knew I had made an important mental shift and I had no idea what to do with it. I decided to do what was already working for me. Make Goals. Then Make better Goals.
 
Momentum Is Key
Never underestimate the power of mental momentum
 
Being without momentum is rough. It is how I had been living most of my life. For me, It was the difference between hitting the snooze button a few times in the morning, and then getting up vs just turning the damn thing off. It was persevering with a stoic face when all 3 of my children are having emotions bigger than themselves. It is wearing my keyboard out, while burning holes in my eyes as my family sleeps to pursue my passions… that way I am better apt to focus on them, and our goals together during the day.
Once I realized what momentum was for me
What it felt like for me
I was able to recognize the ebb and flow of it
Because I am very much of an up and down kind of person….
I have Huge Bursts of Energy and Insight, and I want to explode all of my feelings and understandings unto everyone around me.
 
These times for me are a whirlwind of making things happen, overestimating myself, surprising myself, connecting, and learning. So Much Learning that it is vital to get some down time.
 
Rest and Recovery is Essential
 
Everyone needs time for themselves. There are no exceptions. Especially for me. I would find myself craving to be alone after the constant touching and talking that comes with toddlers and at first thought I must be a horrible mother. Please. Excuses.
 
But with 2 littles under 2 running around I had to get a little creative for my much needed R&R. Most of my rest was not actually sleeping but if the babes are busy mommies brain was resting. Here were some of my go to strategies.
  • Nap Time

Crucial. Wear them out in the morning then stuff their bellies and send them to their rooms. Or to your bed with you if you must. Make nap time a priority for your family and make sure your taking part. No “getting stuff done” or needless cleaning. Promise, it can wait. Even a 20 minute rest with your eyes shut improves focus and mental function.
 
  • Take a Walk

When it’s no where near nap time and your feeling frazzled throw those babies in the stroller. Won’t stay quiet long enough.. bring snacks! The outside air and steady pace will keep them quite and entertained for a bit so you can make a phone call to family or just zone out in your thoughts for a few minutes. Ah bliss.
 
  • Find a park with a fence

Why aren’t these everywhere. The first time I saw one I thought well this is nice. No it is much better. It is ingenious. Yes, you still have to watch your kids moms. But the stress will be exponentially better and you can maybe lay in the grass with a book or take the time to watch the kids from afar peacefully and think of all the ways they make your life better. Regular playgrounds can work also.
 
  • Story Time

Cuddle up with a book. This is a great way to unwind with your children. Even the littlest ones can get involved with the right books. I would give my smallest an indestructible book while my eldest and I went through another. This will give you all the good feels and get you unplugged while bonding with your most important.
 
  • Get Help

Your Partner, Family, and Friends are all their to help. You just need to say when things are piling up and be specific about what could actually help you. Don’t feel bad about needing an extra hand or an hour to soak in a bubble bath.
 
  • Take yourself on a date

Not your husband or family or friends. Just You. My favorite way to get back in sync with myself is to be able to just be myself. i am quiet and reserved. When I am with my family I am the boss on a loud speaker. Spa day, lite lunch and a stroll through town or the beach, a scenic drive, a long hike, or a day hiding in your room with a book are all good ways to reconnect with yourself.
 
 
 
Once I realized I had made it this far by haphazardly implementing just these few vital keys
  • Responsible for Self / This is your Choice
  • Mental Momentum / Make Goals and Go After Them
  • Rest And Recovery / Avoid Burnout and Overwhelm
 
I was better able to understand the real possibilities for myself, my family, and our lives together that blew my mind and our world right open…
 
I have grown exponentially since those years, and my world and mind are still wide open. I have since moved with my Husband and 2 small children to Hawaii where we added another so now we are 5. Here we will be prepping for full-time travel starting fall 2019 and will be World Schooling our family.
 
I am so grateful everyday that I took those first steps that inspired me and re-developed my love of learning. It touches deep into my life and seeing it Now I realize I am going through, and may, very-well always be going through, an Intensive Lifestyle Change.
 
For most people this feels too hard to achieve and they live their life in a comfortable form of acceptance / denial. It is doable. It is actually just a way of life and all it takes is starting with key changes in the right parts of life.
 

Physical Health

Diet and Exercise is everything.
 
If you shed everything about you down to your basics you are left with nothing but a need to eat and you need to be able to move efficiently to do that. Pretty important. It just is. This is the Magic Cure you have been waiting for.
 

Diet

 
I was a fast food junkie who would’ve said the best date ever was a place with a monster cheeseburger, fries and ranch, topped off with a few choice drinks. Beer.
Simply achieving my first goal of drinking half my body weight a day in water was enough to bring on a cascade of events that led to an extremely different way of living.
  • Drink Water
Drink water for an instant upgrade in life. It alone will change everything. It has been proven to make you focus better and just be plain Happier. Plus, beyond just improved mental functions.. Literally Every Single Part of Our Bodies Function Better. Our joints move better, exercise isn’t as challenging and more effective, organs function better. And with the skin being the largest organ, it benefits greatly. Who is possibly against supple, glowing skin and feeling super-charged?
  • Start the day off with a healthy choice
I started with Avocado toast with an egg. I wasn’t far off the mark and still enjoy this quick easy breakfast all the time. There are so many reasons to make sure this meal is the one you choose to be healthy with. It fires up your metabolism, increases energy, boosts brain power, and starts your day with a positive mindset that will flow into all of your choices that day.
 
  • Cut out Fast Food
This can be so hard to start but a great momentum boost when you achieve it. Try saying no next time your partner or friend go through a drive-thru. If you are a fast food junkie like I was then this will be no easy feat but will gain you major reward Fast and in all parts of your life. From saving money, to increasing will-power, to saving your guts from the the processed nightmare they call food. This one is a game-changer to add on early!
  • Eat more Fruits and Veggies
This is something we all know. Or do we. The nutrition knowledge in the world is extremely lacking. It took a lot of self-propelled research for me to understand why I had been dieting and failing all my life. Everything I thought I knew about food was wrong. Food has so many functions in our body and it is so important to have a Balanced Diet.
 
Fruits and Veggies are so easy to start implementing in your life. Leaving a snack tray of cut veggies and humus in the fridge is a great way to reach for something healthy for a snack or to add to a lite lunch. I never thought my kids would eat raw broccoli or a beet. Experiment with new selections from your produce stand and you will often surprise yourself.
  • Cut out Processed Foods and Refined Sugar
Imagine walking into a grocery store and only needing to walk down 1 or 2 isles and the produce section. Just the time saved not looking at all those pretty pictures of yummy concoctions on these boxes and cans is worth it. Surprise yourself by making one of these delicious simple 5 ingredient recipes
 
 
Diet has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I have implemented these steps. It doesn’t mean losing weight anymore. It is a word that only refers to the way I eat. I now am implementing minimalist meal plans with ingredients from farmers markets and locally sourced meat markets. Life can change rapidly and if you keep pushing yourself you will find yourself living a life you didn’t you could reach.
 
 

Exercise

 
  • Find Something you Enjoy
I knew it all along.. “a body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest”
someone a lot smarter than me, and probably you too
 
Besides my short stint of running around the block in the a.m. that was back too many lifes to count, I can’t say I was much into exercise. A few simple home routines of stretching at night and I was able to enjoy movement again. That led to bike riding which let me find reunite with my love of everything outdoors. Finding even a small routine that is under your comfort level can help build the momentum for a greater challenge. Here are 18 Best Workout Apps For Lazy Girls.
  • Find Natural Exercise
The world is your playground. Don’t forget to go play in it.
I got so stuck in an inside routine where my kids watched too much t.v. and I stared at computers too long. This was exactly what I said I would avoid as a mother and I fell in the same easy trap as most of society. When we bought a kid carrier and started biking I fell in love. With more than the energy of the ride, with the sun on my skin, and the wind in my hair. This connection to the outdoors did wonders for me mentally and physically. Hiking, mountain climbing, snorkeling, and exploring are all now frequent activities that keep me out of the gym and happy and healthy.
 
  • Sticking to Routine

We are all creatures of habit. Our bodies are constantly trying to keep us comfortable and that is why routines are life savers. Don’t think diet and exercise were just a thing I always did or just easily started up one day. I also went from waking up at 5 p.m. to 5 a.m… which is now getting switched to 4 a.m.

What is this sorcery?

It is my wonderful brain.. rewiring itself.. to protect it’s simple emotional human. They say it only takes 30 days of enforcing a habit to make it a habit. I believe it. I have done it ..over and over. I am constantly surprised at how quickly I can change, build, and develop new skills.

 
 

Mental Health

 
  • Self Love Starts with Self Care

 
My skin has always given me trouble. Chicken bumps, ingrown hairs, acne, stretch marks were all plagues of my teenage years that led to insecurities and continuing conditions in my adult years. An epilator, exfoliating, and dressing up are my favorite tools for an instant Goddess Feeling. Find what makes You Feel Beautiful.
 
  • The Epilator
I had finally jumped on the band wagon and got waxed. My whole damn body.  I went back twice because I really liked my waxer but I knew instantly I had to find a better way. This bad boy gets you soft and smooth at home on your own time, in the shower or out, and even has exfoliating heads for your face and body. Game. Changer.
  • Exfoliating
When your skin is that bare you need to maintain it! Store bought body scrub is Expensive and full of chemicals but it is so easy to make your own exfoliating scrub at home. Bonus: you get to pretend your at the spa while your husband deals with the screaming kids and you level up in the shower. Go throw some raw sugar and coconut oil together, scrub away, and see how just that simple concoction makes you glow.
 
  • Dress For Who You Want To Be
I was always a tank top and jeans girl. I used to see and even buy cute clothes but never wear them for fear of looking out of place or silly. To possibly hear someone say..”what are you wearing?!” was mortifying. A pair of waist-high sage colored hobo shorts bought in a “I’m A New Women” mode, threw me out there and I realized something extremely freeing.. Most people don’t care what your wearing and really it doesn’t matter all that much if they did. I threw the rest of my clothes out. Seriously.
 
  • Organize and Minimalize your Life

One day I started throwing clothes in bags and got them the hell out of my house. I was sick of the piles of clothes I barely even liked or wore being Everywhere! It was freeing and absolutely addicting. I have now spread this concept to all parts of my life. Right down to my thoughts. I am able to actually see what matters in my life and focus on that with all my extra time and energy.
Some of the ways I have cut down on clutter in my life is

Capsule Wardrobe

When I found out I could own only a handful of clothes, look and feel amazing, save tons of money and time, plus unburden myself from too many choices and mountains of laundry.. I was ALL in. These are a few ladies and their wardrobes that inspired me to make the change.
 
        1. The cutest video of Kitty Cotten and her awesome capsule wardrobe. This one came right after she had a baby so it is nursing friendly and you still get to look amazing!
        2. Caroline at UnFancy will get you drooling over color palettes for her simplified wardrobe. I was hooked when I read this and instantly started creating color boards.
        3. The Calm Collective’s neutral, clean wardrobe style instantly won me over.

 Minimalist Meal Plan

I was spending too much time in the kitchen, too much money at the store,and throwing away tons of leftovers and rotten veggies. Enough was enough. I started adapting a minimalist meal plan thought up by Miranda over at Live Free Creative Co. She is another amazing maker mama who is all about Energy Management!
 Mindset is Everything
This should be first but it is last for a simple reason. I couldn’t stand to hear it before I understood it and I didn’t want to scare you away. But, hey, your at the end now so there it is.
 
There was a question I asked myself daily for years and when I answered it for the first time I broke down and cried till I was dry. When I was done feeling sorry myself I knew I could get up and change it or stay the way I was. So I decided I would “fake it till I make it” and got Happy.
 
You will always be presented with situations that are hard or will disrupt your peace and happiness. How you mentally tackle these situations will forge your path. When you are upset and irrational it is too easy to lead yourself down a destructive path. Mental toughness is built from continued success with staying positive in rough times.
 

The first time I knew it was working:

 
When my girl brought me a pen from my desk smiling and told me to “come see” while I was trying to get a moments reprieve in the bathroom; I looked at her with raised eyebrows, calmly finished up and followed her. My new white office chair had the mad but proud scribbles of a little Willow girl all over it.
I stood there for a second upset and when I would have usually snapped I thought… Well damn thats some nice scribblin’. I have no idea who that was in my head but when I bust out laughing and was then able to follow with a calm, connected talk with my girl I decided I was going to be listening to her a Lot More!
 
Want to know what that anguish filled question I asked myself daily was?
“Why am I Doing This”
 
If you are asking yourself that question still then I suggest you answer it.
Because it will put you well on your way to a great Lifestyle Change!
 
Hello! I am Amanda and this was my first Blog Post Ever!!!
Wish me luck, Tell me your story, Let me know how you made a change in your life or want to make a change in your life! I am here to share and connect and would Love to hear from you!

Ka’ena Point North Shore Hike With Kids

A lovely hike the whole family can enjoy! With the right timing, prep, and knowledge Ka’ena Point from the north shore is a fun way to spend some bonding time with family while getting in good exercise in a gorgeous environment.

image of kaena point trail hike in Oahu Hawaii north shore

What to know

Hot with No Shade

Bumpy Road

Not Stroller Friendly

5 Mile There and Back Trail

Stunning Views and Beaches

This trail is hot and offers no shade along the way. Hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and lots of water are a must. Carrying on umbrella can also be handy. The one saving grace for the heat is you have the ocean right there to bring in a good breeze.

boy looking at ocean and tide pools at kaena point north shore Oahu Hawaii

It is about 2 1/2 miles and may take one to three hours depending on your pace to get to the point and the lighthouse. You can choose to stop at any time and turn back and there are lots of beautiful beaches and tide pools along the way that you can stop at. Some people choose to just spend the day on the sand, exploring tide pools, and fishing without going to the point at all.

While there is no incline and a the old dirt road makes for a fairly easy walking path it is a bit too rugged to bring a stroller. I wore my one-year-old daughter while my three-year-old daughter and for-year-old son did perfectly fine walking on the trails. There are lots of different paths to take and explore that kept them interested and gave us lots of time to pause so they didn’t tire out to easily.

momma in sun hat carrying baby in Tula child carrier on hike in Oahu Hawaii
Carrying Faye Baby 

If you stick to the dirt road it is pretty straight shot straight to the point but if you want to glet closer to the water there are lots of different little paths to take that let you climb sand dunes and explore tide pools. The land is flat and offers easy views so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.

The dirt road gets travelled on by fishers and explorers out in their trucks quite a bit so you will share the wide road with small trucks. There are also plenty of ruts and in the winter they can get filled with water and the trail may be muddy. But since this side is the driest on the island you will more likely be walking through a desert like terrain.

If you make it to the end you will notice a fenced area to conserve a natural spot for the birds and wildlife. If you don’t have animals with you I would recommend going through the fence to get to the tip of the point.

More than likely you’ll run across a monk seal or two laying on the beach, so make sure to keep an eye out, as they tend to blend in and look just like the large rocks laying about.

Winter months are best for cooler breezes, large waves to gaze at, and lush green mountains for viewing.

Most people recommend coming very early in the morning to beat the heat. If you plan to make a day of it or hang out on some of the beaches that is great advise. But for us Sunset is where it’s at. It’s cooler and the sunlight is beyond belief beautiful. Make sure to bring a flashlight or charged phones so your not walking back in the pitch dark!

Sunset Worth Braving The Hike Back In The Dark

Just the drive out there is full of amazing scenery and fun stuff to check out!

Lost Houses

If you were a fan of the hit TV show Lost you will recognize the yellow village that were home to the others here at Camp Erdmun. Set right of the side of the road you can easily snap a selfie though it is a functioning camp so mind if there are children present a camp maybe in progress. You can take a tour of it for $5.

For more fun Lost Locations on Oahu check out Hawaii magazines post.

Fabled Palm Tree Forest

you may or may not have seen on plastered all over Instagram. You will see it from the road marked by the wood fence and you guessed it.. thousands of lovely palms!

Mokuleia Beach

is also a famous beach where you will run into a more laid back local feel away from most tourists.

Haleiwa Town

the cutest town on the island. Little bright shops, surfers and surf shops, local eats and food trucks galore, art galleries, coffee houses, and so much more!

If you do find yourself in Haleiwa try one of the food trucks like

Crispy Grindz

for yummy açaí bowls and Brazilian Delicacies

or our personal favorite place on the island that has a wide range of eclectic food

Uncle Bo’s.

So pack up and enjoy a day on my favorite part of the island The North Shore!

Did you enjoy the hike or have a favorite place around these parts?! I would love to hear about it!

Top 3 Favorite Raw Honey and Brown Sugar Scrubs That Are Incredibly Easy and Effective

With fall in full affect exfoliating is as important as ever. These DIY exfoliating scrubs will have you glowing cozy whether your combating dry skin from the cold weather or, are blessed like me in tropical Hawaii, and need help to remember it even is fall.

diy brown sugar and honey scrub, simple beauty tips, natural self care, essential oils

Living on the beach in Hawaii has made me more aware of my skin than ever. And after years of battling mentally and physically with my skin appearance I have found a favorite healer in exfoliating. Simple and effective with little time or effort involved keeps it at the top of my beauty regime.

For fall I like to stick to earthy, warm, uplifting, and spicy smells.

Cinnamon, Honey, Tamanu, and Clove are all favorites of mine. Something about these smells makes me feel grounded and invigorated at the same time. It’s extremely easy to whip up a healing mask or scrub with just a few ingredients.

I happen to be a little obsessed with raw Hawaiian honey right now. It makes an appearance in all of these recipes as I have been using it since I found it. I cannot convey how amazing it is to use in the shower. It leaves your skin silky soft, especially when mixed with vegetable glycerin.

Cinnamon and Honey Facial Mask

diy brown sugar and honey scrub, simple beauty tips, natural self care, essential oils
  • Baking Soda – 1 tsp
  • Raw Honey – 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 tsp

This simple recipe is probably already laying around in your kitchen just begging to be made.

Baking soda is an extremely fine exfoliant and cleanser making it perfect to slough away any dead skin cells on the sensitive skin of your face and neck. It is an excellent remedy for existing acne while also preventing future breakouts.

Raw Honey or Local Honey works as a humectant and attracts and locks in moisture to help rejuvenate your skin.

Cinnamon also helps to control acne and blemishes by bringing blood and oxygen to the surface of the skin causing a beautiful dewy glow.

To make a mask or daily face wash just combine about a tablespoon of raw or local honey, with about a teaspoon each of baking soda and cinnamon. You can add a bit of water if you want a thinner mix for a wash.

Massage into face gently and let sit for a moment for a feel good face wash or let sit up to 10 minutes as a mask.

Can be kept indefinitely in a sealed air tight container, left in a cool dry place.

Clove and Brown Sugar Body Scrub

diy brown sugar and honey scrub, simple beauty tips, natural self care, essential oils

This delightfully spicy concoction is a perfect fall scrub.

  • Clove Essential Oil – 3 or 4 drops
  • Brown Sugar – 1/2 c
  • Carrier Oil (jojoba, almond, olive, etc) – 1/2c

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Store in an air tight container.

Clove oil is a natural antibacterial and anti fungal that works wonders in treating skin ailments such as acne and ingrown hairs. The anti-inflammatory properties ease the redness of inflammation and can even help with muscle and joint pain.

Brown sugar is a finer choice of sugar that is rich in antioxidants that can eliminate harmful free radicals. Another beneficial compound of cane brown sugar is Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which can penetrate your skin and break down the compound that binds the skin cells. This promotes rapid regeneration and rejuvenation.

diy brown sugar and honey scrub, simple beauty tips, natural self care, essential oils

Carrier Oils

There are a multitude of carrier oils depending on your skin type. A few easy to find favorites for this recipe are Jojoba or Almond.

Jojoba Oil which closely resembles the natural oils our skin makes and is a great all oil for repairing every skin type. It helps tame chaffing and chapping, reduces redness caused by drying, and eases the effects of eczema and rosacea.

Almond Oil is full of health benefits such as vitamin E, Zinc, proteins, and potassium making it great for healing UV radiation damage, and keeping your skin soft, smooth, and free of fine lines. It has a lighter texture than other natural oils, such as olive oil. Sweet Almond oil should be avoided for sensitive skin types.

Raw Earth Moisturizing Scrub

diy brown sugar and honey scrub, simple beauty tips, natural self care, essential oils, tamanu oil, vegetable glycerin
  • Tamanu oil – 10 pumps or 2 Tbsp
  • Brown Sugar – 2 cups
  • Vegetable Glycerin – 1/3 cup
  • Raw Honey – 2 Tbsp

By far my favorite fall scrub. It leaves you with soft, supple, glowing skin from head to toe.

Tamanu oil otherwise known as, “green gold” is a valuable oil that is a beneficial skin oil for a multitude of reasons. Thanks to a unique fatty acid, calophyllic acid, it is extremely effective at combatting and preventing signs of aging. Its skin softening properties allow the skin to become supple while preventing environmental damage. But best of all is its ability to heal scars. From stretch marks, acne, age spots, rashes, bites, dermatitis and more. This rich oil is amazing.

Vegetable Glycerin is another natural humectant that draws water from the air into the skins outer layer. When used with other natural oils and ingredients, it can seal that moisture into the top layer of skin while the other oils work there way deep into our cells to provide long-lasting moisture.

And since you already know the amazing benefits of Raw Honey and Brown Sugar Im sure you can see why this is a favorite scrub I use often!

If you have other essential oils you love start mixing them in and seeing what you can create. Plant Guru is my absolute favorite oil company and these are some of their oils I am using for my fall line up and have been making everything from body scrubs and facials to foaming hand wash and cuticle creams!

diy brown sugar and honey scrub, simple beauty tips, natural self care, essential oils recipes

Now go forth and make yourself amazing!Product Listbee_6828-2Royal Hawaiian Raw Unfiltered Island Wildflower Honey 44 Ounce Jar – This stuff is amazing. Royal Hawaiian 100% raw, unfiltered honey is harvested on the Big Island and is light golden colored, with a silky mouth feel, with butterscotch overtones and floral bouquet.  I use this in my DIY beauty routines, Health Detox Drinks, and Recipes! 

Plant Guru Essential Oils – Plant Guru is a small family ran business with a passion for essentials. Tired of the multi marketing companies making healing oils unattainable their passion and goal is to keep high quality oils readily available to everyone. From their website : Our business was born online offering quality essential oils at a fair price. No advertising, No marketing plan, No multi-level pyramid pricing. This allows us to pass on huge savings to our customers. We provide quality essential oils at the most affordable prices. From our experience if you stick to your principles, the business will take care of itself. These beliefs have allowed us to do great things.

Carrier Oils – Used for so many different beauty and skin care regimens it is a good idea to figure out which ones work best for you. Try the variety pack from Plant Guru, or you can even stick with good old Vegetable Glycerin for an all around amazing moisturizer. 

Snorkeling World Famous Hanauma Bay with Kids

Hanauma Bay offers protected, calm, crystal clear waters that are abundant with sea life and perfect for all ages and experiences of snorkelers.

Hanauma bay snorkeling with kids, family travel, oahu hawaii, family activities

We chose Hanauma Bay to take our 4 year old son snorkeling for the first time and it was so perfect we brought our 3 year old daughter to join the next weekend. Even in the rougher winter months the water stays relatively calm and clear. There always beautiful fish to see close to shore and we always felt safe with the ever watchful lifeguards on duty. While the Bay offers superb snorkeling opportunity for All ages and Levels there are a few things you’ll want to know before you go.

Hanauma bay snorkeling with kids, family travel, oahu hawaii, family activities

You will want to come early as the park only has 300 parking stalls and will ONLY allow that many in at a time. The parking lot does charge $1 for parking. You will find the incredible views start right away as you park on the top of the bowl that forms the Bay.

Hanauma bay snorkeling with kids, family travel, oahu hawaii, childrens activities, adventure
Looking Down at Hanauma Bay

When you get to the entrance there is a snack shop and restrooms. You will have access to more restrooms down by the beach but this is the only food stand. I would suggest bringing your own snacks and water as a bottle of water here starts at $6. The park only allows Small Coolers so don’t try to pack too much.

Nuts, Fruit, and Water in a small carry bag are great options for a snack!

Once you get inside you will have to watch a short 9 minute introductory video that tells about the history of the bay, what you can expect to see, and the do’s and don’ts while at the park. Make sure to sign your name if you plan to visit again within a year so you won’t have to watch the video again.

The walk down to the bay is short but it is somewhat steep. The kids didn’t mind and we liked slowly walking down seeing the views. We hung back a minute to give the crowd a chance to go ahead so we could enjoy the walk down and snap some pictures. You also have the option of taking the tram down for $1.

Once we finally hit the sand we were amazed! The water is so clear and even though the place stays pretty full it doesn’t feel too packed since they keep it to a limited number of people per day. I believe only 3000 visitors a day is all they will let in now vs 10,000 any given day a few years past!

The reef keeps the water from getting too choppy but there are spots you want to watch out for. You will see them clearly marked by buoys and they go over them in the video. Though that is where my husband spent most of his time snorkeling we stayed clear of those areas when we had the kids.

We had our own masks and snorkels but we rented one for our son. It was by far the only hard part of the experience and I would fully recommend getting a full face mask for any young first timers. He complained it pulled his hair and it was tricky getting it positioned on his little face well. But after 10 minutes of Calm, Patient urging we finally got him in the water.

Staying completely calm and patient without giving in or giving up your gentle coaxing is key for nervous, excitable children

My husband and I had to actually take turns. When one of us would start to get impatient or too stern we would take a moment to go snorkel and calm down then come back and tell of all the amazing things we saw. It worked like a charm and in about 10 minutes of this and a gentle shove He Did It!

Our 4 year old took to it amazingly easy once he just did it. It was an incredible experience getting to hold him hand-in-hand with my husband while we slowly investigated the bay.

The great thing is you see fish almost immediately. I am a bit nervous under the water but with my sons hand in mine I was fully able to enjoy seeing damsels, trigger fish, wrasse, tang, moorish idols, parrot fish, eels, and so much more!

When my 3 yr old daughter came the next weekend we spent most of the time on the sand. She enjoyed the water but she is more of a sun baby and we still had a great time. A walk on the beach is perfect and the views never get old. There is also a booth you can visit to learn more about the conservation and history of the bay.

If you want to get the full experience you can also do Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike. An easy, but long uphill hike that takes you along the ridge. It is paved asphalt but offers no shade and drop offs.

What to do in the area

This side of the island is one of my favorites and offers lots to see and do. There are a number of lookouts from the road to stop by and plenty of fun activities to fill the rest of your day.

Before we spent the day at Hanauma Bay we woke up insanely early and hiked Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail for sunrise. It was a great experience and we left just in time to make it early enough to the bay before the crowds hit. It is a paved hike that left us feeling full of excitement and adrenaline for snorkeling.

Makapu’u lighthouse hike with kids, family travel, oahu hawaii, childrens activities, adventure
Makapu’u Lighthouse Lookout

Our Makapu’u Sunrise Hike

Lookouts

Makapu’u Point Lookout

This is at the entrance to the trail right next to the entrance of the trail. Surprisingly I have done the trail twice and drove by numerous times and have yet to see for myself. Apparently there is a parking lot and a paved walkway that leads to an area that overlooks Makapu’u Beach Park, the sea cliffs, as well as Rabbit island (also known as Manana Island) and Kaohikaipu Island.

Lanai Lookout (Link Goes to Maps)

Another great lookout with beautiful cliffside and views of the 3 islands lanai, molokai, and Maui

Halona Blow Hole Lookout(Link Goes to Maps)

My favorite lookout of the main ones in the area. It has a large easy parking lot and great views of sandy beach. It also has its own little pocket beach nestled into the cliffs. You can climb down the side of the cliff to access this popular spot made famous by the movie From Here To Eternity. Hence the nickname Eternity Beach.

Activities and Beaches

Sea Life Park

We walked through it one evening to get to the Chiefs Luau when it was here and it looked so cool that we bought annual passes on Black Friday. On their website they boast that “Sea Life Park is Hawaii’s best wild life and wild animal park, offering fun and educational family experiences for the entire family. With a focus on education and conservation, our shows, exhibits and interactive programs offer once-in-a-lifetime thrilling up-close encounters, like swimming with dolphins, petting sharks, and more! And I whole-heartedly agree!

Water Activities in Hawaii Kai

In Hawaii Kai about 10 minutes from the lighthouse in Koko Marina is Hawaii Water sports Center, which offers a plethora of water activities. The center has it all from parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, wakeboarding, and water skiing to banana boat and bumper tube rides.

Good Eats

Byo Bowls

Holy Moly I love this place! Pronounced Bio Bowls this place is the ultimate modern eatery for the health conscious people of Hawaii. The food is locally sourced and presented in such a beautiful way its almost a shame to eat. The portions are HUGE so its a perfect place to share an Acai bowl or Poke Bowl. The spicy poke bowl from here is The Spiciest Poke on the island. Insane spice and Sooo Good!

Kona Brewing Company

This is a chill spot for the typical bar food that is actually delicious and lots of Kona Beer on tap. The wait can be long but even the managers will be running the floor with a smile on their face to get you your drinks and food on time. Right on the water with lots of activities near by this is a great lunch spot.

You might also be interested in my post about My Favorite Family Activities on Oahu!

I hope you are able to enjoy the bay for yourself and maybe find another fun spot to see and most of all Have an Amazing Day!

Aloha!

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail | Sunrise Hike with Family

IMG-5350

What to Know

2 mile paved trail

Easy to Moderate for all ages

No Shade

No Bathrooms

Small Parking Lot and Road Parking

Can’t Actually Reach the Lighthouse

Morning is Best

We have done this trail twice now and both times we went for sunrise. I might go for a sunset also because I do love the hike but can’t imagine going any other time. I have heard other moms say this trail was harder than advanced climbing trails simply because it is Hot and there is absolutely zero shade… Anywhere. I can’t say I had a problem with this as in the morning it is breezy and beautiful. In fact, it will be Cold until you start the climb and start warming up.

19-9-18-0627

When you get there you will find plenty of parking on the road. There is also a small parking lot that opens at 7am but it fills up fast and seems more hassle than just walking the extra 100ft. Once you get past the parking lot the incline starts. And does not stop.

The first time we did this hike I was not in good shape. At all. I was out of breathe and my legs were burning the first 2 minutes. It is a good thing this trail starts off with pretty views the second you get out of your car. The nice breeze also helps.

19-9-18-0730

Once you get to The first look out point you are greeted with near 360° views of beauty. Starting here there are tons of little paths you can take off of the main trail. Some of them will just be tiny little lookouts and others can lead all the way down to the tide pools.

I would love to do the trail without the kids one day to explore the tide pools, as this part of the trail is not well marked and treacherous. The tide pools can be extremely dangerous and even though my husband and I are quite ridiculous and flock to these scenarios.. we try our best to wait until we don’t have the kiddos with us.

19-9-18-1443

Even with the babes it is a fun and engaging hike. The trail Is known for whale watching and there a few lookouts with telescopes for just this. We didn’t get to see any on either of our trips But they say winter is the best time.

When you get towards the top there is an old Road that leads you to the decrepit pathway for the lighthouse. Unfortunately this is gated off Due to falling rocks and other hazards so you can’t get to the Light House anymore. There is still a beautiful look out to go enjoy here though.

19-9-18-0730-2

If you’re like me the first time I did this hike this here will be your sweet spot. The Top.

This makes it all worth it. The feeling of accomplishment mixed with Awe that creates a wonderful fulfilling experience and leaves you nothing but content. Even If only for A moment.

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Helpful Tips and Things to Know

  1. Morning is the best time. I would suggest being there at least 30 min before sunrise.
  2. It is Cold in the morning. We brought blankets snacks and water for the babes and they sat cozy and content in their strollers nearly the entire hike.
  3. The hike takes us close to 2 hours each time because we are explorers and there is a lot to see in the little distance you seem to cover. You can do this in less than an hour easily if you want a beautiful morning exercise.
  4. There are a few other hikes off the paved trail. 2 on the bottom that go to a beach and tide pools and a faster hike that stays off the paved road and goes straight up the top of the mountain.

What to do in the area

This side of the island is one of my favorites and offers lots to see and do. There are a number of lookouts from the road to stop by and plenty of fun activities to fill the rest of your day.

Lookouts

  • Makapu’u Point Lookout

This is at the entrance to the trail right next to the entrance of the trail. Surprisingly I have done the trail twice and drove by numerous times and have yet to see for myself. Apparently there is a parking lot and a paved walkway that leads to an area that overlooks Makapu’u Beach Park, the sea cliffs, as well as Rabbit island (also known as Manana Island) and Kaohikaipu Island.

Another great lookout with beautiful cliffside and views of the 3 islands lanai, molokai, and Maui

 

My favorite lookout of the main ones in the area. It has a large easy parking lot and great views of sandy beach. It also has its own little pocket beach nestled into the cliffs. You can climb down the side of the cliff to access this popular spot made famous by the movie From Here To Eternity. Hence the nickname Eternity Beach.

Activities and Beaches

  • Sea Life Park

We walked through it one evening to get to the Chiefs Luau when it was here and it looked so cool we bought annual passes with their Black Friday sale. On their website they boast that “Sea Life Park is Hawaii’s best wild life and wild animal park, offering fun and educational family experiences for the entire family. With a focus on education and conservation, our shows, exhibits and interactive programs offer thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime up-close encounters, like swimming with dolphins, petting sharks, and more!

We came here after one of our sunrise Makapu’u hikes and it was a Long fulfilling day. We had been before and I imagine we will be back at least one more time before we leave the island. The bay is world known for snorkeling and has its own lookouts and hike. After watching a short educational movie that explains how to care for the reef you can walk or ride the tram down the short hill to pristine waters protected by gorgeous cliffs. Often crowded the parking lot fills up fast on the weekends so come early! Read Our Experience Here

In Hawaii Kai about 10 minutes from the lighthouse in Koko Marina is Hawaii Water sports Center, which offers a plethora of water activities. The center has it all from parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, wakeboarding, and water skiing to banana boat and bumper tube rides.

Good Eats

Holy Moly I love this place! Pronounced Bio Bowls this place is the ultimate modern eatery for the health conscious people of Hawaii. The food is locally sourced and presented in such a beautiful way its almost a shame to eat. The portions are HUGE so its a perfect place to share an Acai bowl or Poke Bowl. The spicy poke bowl from here is The Spiciest Poke on the island. Insane spice and Sooo Good!

This is a chill spot for the typical bar food that is actually delicious and lots of Kona Beer on tap. The wait can be long but even the managers will be running the floor with a smile on their face to get you your drinks and food on time. Right on the water with lots of activities near by this is a great lunch spot.

I hope you are able to enjoy the hike for yourself and maybe find another fun spot to see and most of all Have an Amazing Day!

Aloha!