Maui 2014


My family and I returned from a trip to Maui, last week. We chose to stay at The Fairmont Kea Lani again, because Costco Travel was offering an amazing price. I love Costco Travel!


The Fairmont Kea Lani is a beautiful hotel in the Wailea area of Maui. It is next door to The Grand Wailea and The Four Seasons. For us, it is perfect. The hotel is all suites so the kids have their own room to sleep in at night (my daughter slept on the pullout couch and we paid for a rollaway bed for my son each night). Each room has a huge veranda so we could choose to eat inside or out.

We reserved a deluxe ocean front room with a beautiful view. The room came with a Keurig coffee maker and pods, a small refrigerator and a microwave. This was convenient for our small snacks and food items.

The hotel is not crazy busy like The Grand Wailea nor uncomfortably demure like The Four Seasons. It is, in the words of a famous little blond thief, “just right.”


At the hotel’s restaurant, Ko, we all had amazing dinners of fish. And whilst the ambience and meal were not as good as Mama’s (but honestly, it is on a level all by itself), the ease and convenience of it being just steps from our room, make it a restaurant we would absolutely eat at again.

And we all scraped our plates clean. It was very good. This is the third time we have eaten here and the flavors are always yummy.

I do recommend sticking to wine or beer if you indulge in alcoholic beverages after having tried four different cocktails on my visits here.

One of my favorite things served here was the edamame dip that is served with the bread. And those rice cakes? Swoon.


We reserved pool cabanas two of the days and we really enjoyed this on one of the days. We had a problem with the air conditioning in the room (the picture below is me sweating and drinking wine (gotta make the best of it) whilst waiting for engineering) and so the manager very, very generously took the two cabana charges off of our bill. He really did not have to do that, but it definitely was appreciated. This made the situation much better and allowed us to continue to think of the Kea Lani with fond memories.


We would absolutely return. The Kea Lani continues to be one of my favorite hotels. The staff is so friendly. On certain days (depending upon which woman they have hired to make leis that day), they even have free flowers for guest’s hair, complete with a long stick so it would stay behind your ear. My daughter and I loved this small little gesture and I hope they continue to hire the woman that provides that small detail. She was lovely. And it was such a little thing, but it remains in my memory as a wonderful detail about the hotel.

Another small detail is the containers of water and iced tea in the lobby, so there are always refreshments at your leisure.


There is a man that lights the torches around the hotel at night and blows a conch at certain points on his journey. It is quite magical. They encourage little kids to follow him and it is cute to watch his little entourage trailing behind. One night I spotted a little boy and his brother gleefully filling up waterguns and trying to put the fires out. I have no idea where their parents were, but they were quite intent on their task.

And, no, I would absolutely not allow my kids to do this. But drinking wine on my balcony watching someone else’s kids do it? Entertaining.


My favorite part of The Kea Lani is definitely the beach.


They have free umbrellas and lounge chairs for guests that they will set up for you when you come down from your room. It is so relaxing and at all points around the hotel, they have stacks of white fluffy towels for you to just grab as you make your way to the beach or the pool.

I love that.


We were down at the beach almost every single evening watching the sun set and our kids playing in the surf.


I took many memories away that I will treasure.


During the evening, we discovered the cutest little crabs flitting along the sand and ducking into little holes.

We learned that they are called Ghost Crabs. It was a perfect name for them, because you almost did not believe that you saw them, they were so quick.


Of course, the sunsets were incredible. We tried not to miss a single one.


My son’s favorite aspect of the hotel was the water slide. He was up and down that thing for many hours during our stay. The picture above is him waiting for his dad at the bottom. I love that adults can use the slide, too.

One of the other things I love at Kea Lani is the ability for night swimming. Several of the hotels nearby close their pools very early, but The Kea Lani keeps theirs open. I have fond memories of night swimming as a child and I really appreciate this aspect of the hotel. We only swam at night twice, but I enjoyed having a glass of wine and watching other families enjoy the pool and making memories at night, from our balcony.


However, one night I was drinking wine and my husband took my son night swimming. This was what I got to look down on from my balcony. I had a moment of panic. But then he swam and did it again. So, I took some pictures, because I like to remember what his idea of fun was at age ten. My son loves to lay like this in the pool. But I have to wonder what other vacationers thought when they looked down at him.


One evening, we were strolling back from the beach and we spotted a sign to star gaze with a woman with a large telescope. It was an amazing spontaneous adventure. I appreciated that The Kea Lani allowed this to take place and we got to see the rings of Saturn and even one of its moons. It was really neat.


Was our vacation perfect? I guess it depends on how you view that word. For us, yes. But I view the imperfections as stepping stones to happiness, too.

I truly believe that life is what you make of it.

And vacations are no exception.


My husband and I had a tiff on one of the nights we were on vacation. It happens. It was easily communicated after a night of sleep (I am not a believer in the adage: do not go to bed angry) and now I think it is funny. And the tagline that infuriated me and started the fight might be my new favorite thing to bring laughing tears to my eyes, “Settle down.”

If I never had a bad meal, then I would not know what a good one is. Even our bad meal was served with the best coffee I have ever had. Do you know what we took away from our one bad meal on Maui? Questions like this:

“Honey, where can we find coffee like that?”

And the bad meal also taught me: please don’t. Please don’t ever. Ever. Ever. Serve colored rock salt in butter with the bread basket. It is beautiful. And guess what? Salty. Crunchy. Salt. Salty.

No. Don’t do it.

Instead, we think of the yummy coffee. We forget about colored rock salt. And we dream of that coffee.

Of waves upon a shore.



Ghost crabs.

Rings of Saturn.

Flowers in our hair.

Sunscreen mixed with sun.

Blissful sleep.

Sunset waters.

Sandy toes.

“Settle down.”



Anthropologie Late Spring Reviews

Last week, I found myself down in San Diego with my husband and my son. My son had requested that we eat at The Cheesecake Factory after an appointment that he had. So, we were very happy to indulge him. However, it was ten o’clock in the morning and the restaurant did not open until eleven.

Whatever would we do?

My husband took my son to The Lego Store where they happily discovered that the new Minecraft Lego set is now out. They set out to find a table to build it. So, of course, their day was made.

I planned on heading to Anthropologie to try on a few lovelies, but I got sidetracked at Forever 21 where I purchased a few things (this and this). And let me pause and say Forever 21 is killing it this season. I have been so impressed with the quality and price of their clothing. Usually I just go here to shop for my daughter but their clothes have been good for me, too, this year. And the accessories are fabulous for the low cost. Who cares that I could have a daughter the age of the name of the store? Sob.

Before I knew it, it was 10:40 by the time I made my way into Anthropologie.

I had twenty minutes to shop.

An amateur would have panicked.

I tried on the following items and even made these purchases that day in my time limit. They say everyone is good at somethin’. I don’t know that this is quite what they meant:


First, this is what I wore that day. My Savant Swing Dress I purchased on sale with my vintage boots. And my gnome necklace sweet Heather from The Peacock Fairy gifted to me.


And this Anthropologie wooden ring ($10!!!).



I was really excited about trying on the Tinamou Stitched Tunic. I loved it online. I loved it in person.

I don’t do sleeveless.

I feel too self conscience.

I reluctantly put this back on the rack. I hope it makes it to sale for me, because I would definitely purchase this top at a sale price. I just could not justify paying full price for an item that I might not feel comfortable wearing all of the time. My usual size medium in tops fit fine. It was a tiny bit big but I liked it that way.


I had immediately put the Peralta Flared Dress in my wishlist when I first saw it. I am a sucker for stripes. And bright stripes? Forget about it.

Unfortunately, this dress was not as good on me as it looked online. It is big and the cut of the arms and arm holes is awkward on my body. I tried on my usual six. Although the size six was too large, I think a size four would have been too small.

I sadly removed this from my wishlist. It just was not the right fit for me. However, it has two good reviews online. So, it definitely needs to be tried on. On the right body type, this will be beautiful. I think the more voluptuous amongst us will rock this dress!


I thought the Parc Plume Tee was one of the most gorgeous pieces of clothing I had ever seen on the hanger. My heart beat faster when I saw it.

This is my usual size six. Unfortunately, the see-through material combined with the price made it a “no” for me. It also was not flattering on my body, but this top is so pretty. I think the right person will look smoking in it.

The jeans are the Pilcro Superscript High-rise Flare Jeans. I would need to go up a size in these.


This is the summer of sleeveless.

I am the human with sleeves.

And, so, it looked like the season was to end with me buying nothing.

But then I spotted a dress with sleeves. The Ayame Silk Dress.


It had a print that was not something I would typically wear.

And a zipper down the front that I remember from decades ago.

I tried it on in my usual size six. I would definitely need an eight.

This dress just was not right for me. But I can see it being lovely on the right person.


Finally, I spotted the Amapola Dress. I loved the pattern. I loved the mix of the tight solid top with the flared skirt. The kind of silhouette every woman looks good in.

But no sleeves?!

I decided to try it on anyway.

And I loved it.

Even without sleeves. And even though I am probably too old to wear it.

It was $148. I very sadly put it back. I hope I will be able to get it on sale.

Have you tried anything on lately? Do you have mad skills in the fitting room? How much time do you typically give yourself to shop in a single store?

Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part IV

This is going to be my last set of reviews for awhile. I overdid it. I broke my shop box. Tore my dressing room nerve. Split my trying-on-gene in half.

Yesterday, I showed you some pretties. And, they were pretty. And I liked them a lot. But today is where my heart is. Today is the day I show… Well… You’ll see:



Do you recognize this Midday Dress? How could you not? I have been wearing pretty much nothing else for a week. If you missed it, you can see me wearing the dress here and here.

I know by now that in the Puella brand I always take a medium. This was found by trial and error. I love this brand. They create flattering silhouettes for women at a decent price in comfortable fabrics. What’s not to love?

I purchased this dress on sale. And I love it!



They only had a large in the Sunpass Dress. I have admired this dress online for awhile. I tried it on anyway. I will need a small in this dress. If I remember correctly, it was not lined. I just remember it being an incredibly thin material. Very light. Very pretty.

I believe this dress will look amazing on the more voluptuous gal. I cannot wait to see many women rock this dress.

Lovely dress that remains on my wishlist hoping for a great sale price.




The Stripe Swing Tunic Dress is another dress by Puella. It just came out. It is expensive for what it is. I love it. I mean I love this dress so much I want to cry.

I am wearing a medium in the picture. I love the way this dress flows. I am a sucker for grey and white stripes. They are everywhere in my house. I might as well match my interior.

I did not purchase this dress that day. I went home and thought about it. And thought about it. And when I was still dreaming of this dress a week after these pictures were taken, I ordered it and one other lovely below.

My soul is happy. Even the broken review parts.



This little number is the other item I ordered. It is currently on sale for approximately half off. It is so fun. Surprisingly flattering. At first I was hesitant due to the length, but I love it. The blue is so vibrant and gorgeous. I wear the Caravane Tunic Dress with silver flat sandals now. (These to be exact). I have a fun outfit post featuring this dress going up next week. In the wintertime, I will wear this with black leggings and booties. This is probably my favorite closet addition in awhile. It is a good sale price. It is mostly sold out online, but if you call customer service you might still be able to snag one.


When I was entering the dressing room, another gal was exiting. She had the Galen Dress in her hand. She was purchasing it. I got excited to try it on in the dressing room. I generally find that shirtdresses do not do much for me. It is just not my favorite style of dress.

This dress was cute. This is a size small. It fit well. It is short. The pattern is pretty. And so is the color. Again, this is a great style of dress for all women’s body types.


My husband liked this dress a lot. But I did not like how much of my side thigh was showing. Who does this dress think it is? Humboldt Tunic? Although my broken fitting room soul was not havin’ it, it is a nice easy little number.

This dress was a pass for me, but I think on the right person, it will be lovely.


I tried on the flower patterned version of the Caravane Tunic Dress I purchased, as well. It was a medium and too big, but I did like it. If I had not all ready fallen head over heels for the blue version and my heart had not been hurt from contracting the fatal shopping bug, I might have loved this. As it was, it was a “no” for me.


I am on the fence about this West End Top. It is a medium. I bought it, but I have not worn it. I am 99% sure I am taking it back. I am not sure if it is the size (maybe I need a small), but I am thinking it is not all that flattering on me. I love the rust color. It is gorgeous. The hem is such a cool idea. It is a reasonable price. But… I don’t know. I might reconsider in a different size at a sale price, though. What do you think? I need help with this one.

* Update 5/11/14: I ended up keeping The West End Top because I found a fun way to wear it here.

Thus, my reviews are concluded. I am happy to report my shopping wounds are being tended to. It makes it so much easier when your bandages are beautiful clothes.

It is going to be a ridiculous recovery.


And, yep, still hot in the dressing room. You can see the start and the end of the illness here.

What is on your wishlist this spring? Are you happy or bored with this season’s fashions?

More of my more recent reviews can be found here:

Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part I


Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part II


Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part III


Free People Spring Reviews

Whew! No wonder I’m sick of the dressing room!

Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part III

Part three? How could this be? That seems crazy. But part four goes up tomorrow, so this is just proof that however crazy something seems, it can always be crazier.

You don’t have to tell that to my husband. He all ready knows lives with that.

I loved pretty much everything I tried on in both sets of reviews I show in the next few days. Anthropologie really did it right this season. I could not say no to quite a few lovelies.

This means I have made a pretty little chant for my family at dinnertime.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Top Ramen!”

“Who do we thank?”

“Our momman!”

I’m still workin’ out the kinks on that one. They don’t seem to like it too much. I can’t tell if it is the meal or the song.

On to the reviews:


This is what I wore to the store. In case you were wonderin’.



This was the only one of the Pernetiana Top in the store. It was in the sale section, because it was missing a button at the top in the back. It was discounted some silly amount like 5%, because of that. This is a size fourteen. The size fourteen was almost perfect except for the arms. This sucks. A true size fourteen will be sized out of this top. And this makes me mad.

With that said, I still think this top is gorgeous. The colors are beautiful. I did not look twice at this top when it was online, but after trying it on, I have wishlisted a size 10 as I wait for it to go on sale. I hope it does, because this is a great summer top with jeans.


What have we got here? Well, this is the Tessa Tee. I was very unsure about this top. I am wearing a medium. It has a cool back that I did not photograph (again. I am helpful). This top is $58 and I would reconsider it at a much better price. For now, I am just watching it. I like the khaki color, because it is different. In real life, it is a more brown color. I like the color more than the style.


The Turson Netted Tassel Vest is gorgeous. I am wearing the XS/S. Vests are such an odd thing to size in. In my favorite vest, the Ruffled Sweater Vest, I purchased a M/L in both. The XS/S fit fine here. I love the blue embroidered pattern. If I could snag this on sale, I will/would. I think this would be really sweet in the summer over a white dress.


It has pompoms in the back. I debated showing this picture, because it is so blurry. But I think you can kind of see what I am talking about with the pompoms.



I love this Songbird Skirt. In fact, I ended up purchasing it in a size 6. I agree with other reviewers that said the waist is just odd. But, somehow, I have made it work. I wear it with a navy t-shirt. Although I really adore the color of this one shown here (the khaki shirt from above).

Usually I would wait for sale, but this pattern has a beetle holding an umbrella. And, well, that is all it takes for me. You now know what it takes to win my heart.

And maybe you are more curious about my husband’s courting techniques, as well.


I had this Zocalo Maxi Skirt in two colors in my wishlist. That is before I tried it on. I tried on the yellow version in a small. I will definitely need a medium. If I ever purchase it (which I probably won’t). This was definitely the one snag of the day. This skirt has so much potential. But the lining is bad. The lining is tight (but this could be because I tried on the wrong size) and it stops at an awkward length on the upper thigh. The skirt is see-through, so this is a problem. It has slits on the side and I did not like those either. And the pleats? Why?

Okay. Enough negativity. The colors the skirt comes in are gorgeous. The material does not bother me. I like that it is a maxi.

But there were too many I-wish-it-didn’t-haves for me to lust after this skirt. If only it had a beetle…


Women have been raving about this Lolanthe Dress online. I did not get it when I saw it in pictures. I did not get it when I saw it in store. I told my husband it looked like a dress I would have worn in 1996. But I decided to give it a chance and try it on.

I guess all styles really do come back around again!

Because I was surprised. In a good way. I liked it. I didn’t love it. But I liked it. It is a very flattering fit. It is an easy throw on and go dress. I was also surprised to find myself wishlisting this dress for reconsideration at a future sale price.

‘Cause I liked it. Oh. And I am wearing a size small here. This dress seems to be an easy dress to size down in, because of all of the elastic. It will also be flattering on most body types. I think
I am the only one wishing the pattern was just a bit different. But then again, the bar was set high with that umbrella wielding beetle.


And, in case you were curious. Yes, the dressing room was hot here, too.

That is it for my reviews today. Tomorrow I will show you some more dresses.

Have you visited a dressing room lately? What did you try on?

Some of my more recent reviews:

Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part I


Anthropologie Spring Reviews Part II


Free People Spring Reviews

Have a Beetle-Holding-An-Umbrella Day! : )