Sunset Skirt At Sunset


I am at Comic Con again today and so I decided to share some outfit pictures from our vacation to Maui that somehow never made the cut. I think it was because I was burnt out about talking about that trip.

By the way, this skirt is Free People’s Colorblock Skirt and I love it. I previously wore it here.





What did you do this weekend? Did it involve the beach? I am traversing around a convention center with giant blisters on my heels and looking for new art. Wish me luck! : )

P.S. I think the gnome hidden on this one is pretty tricky. Did you spot it?

*these photos were edited using the App Afterlife’s Bloom Filter.

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.”



Things We Did and ate On Maui


On Monday, I will finish our Maui trip with pictures of sand, surf, and the resort we stayed at. But today, let’s travel around town. We all ready traveled to a volcano, a lavender farm, a waterfall and ate at Mama’s Fish House.

But we did much more. And nothing at all. I feel like we spent so much of our trip relaxing, but the following pictures showed we actually got around the island, too. It was the perfect trip.


We ate breakfast one day at Kihei Caffe. This still remains my very favorite breakfast spot. It is insanely inexpensive (for Maui) with huge portions and the food is just darn good. Greasy. Buttery. Good. Comfort food.


Upon the recommendation of the owner (I believe the man is the owner. He is always there. Has a command of authority. And is always smiling), we tried this pastry thing. It was filled with cream cheese frosting. It was groan-out-loud-but-not-in-a-“When-Harry-Met-Sally”in-a-public-restaurant-good. I am still thinking about it. It was amazing, like a homemade Toaster Strudel.

We all enjoyed our meal and the kids were happy they split their ginormous plate of pancakes.


After going ziplining last year, I knew I was going to be sitting out of the family’s ziplining excursion this year. That is, unless L.B. was one of the instructors. I told my family I would join them if he was there to catch me. I am nothing if not a team player.

Alas, L.B. was not working. Some other lovely young men were.


I stayed on the ground and took pictures of my family in the air.


It was actually very peaceful. I did not regret not ziplining. Heights are just not my thing. It was my son’s favorite thing he did on Maui. They had a blast.


We also ate at The Monkeypod Kitchen on this trip. Twice. This restaurant is very good. The buns on my pulled pork sandwich are made on the premises. Everything there is fresh and proudly created in their kitchen. My kids could not get enough of their fish and chips.


We had a bottle of my favorite Firefly Red Flash wine left over on our last night in Maui (we bought six bottles of wine at the grocery store when we got there. Five Barefoot Pink Moscatos and one Firefly. This was such a cost saver. Our room had a small refrigerator and came with a wine opener). We did not want it to go to waste, because we could not bring it home. Even though it was $25 to uncork it at the restaurant, it was still cheaper than a single bottle of wine there. We are so unbelievably fancy.

We will pay $25 to uncork a $6 bottle of wine. But that is how much we love that wine.

It was worth it.


We have tried different shaved ice places on Maui. The best one? Ululani’s. Hands down.

I am boring. I know what I like. And I always get the same thing.

Strawberry and blue raspberry syrup (made on the premises from their sugar cane) over vanilla ice cream and shaved ice.

It is heaven. The tables even have holes so your ice cup can rest on the table and you can very ladylike shovel the delectable treat into your mouth.

We ate here so often that we filled a punch card and got an icee free. If you go to Maui, you have to have shaved ice. It is not the same as snow cones or shaved ice near you. I promise.



We went to a luau at The Marriott in Wailea.


I wore a Free People dress I purchased last summer and my Forever 21 Floral Kimono.


The food was delicious.

The drinks were all included and I liked them… Maybe a little too much.

The show was entertaining. We were seated at a table with four teenage girls and a separate party consisting of two honeymooners. It was an interesting dynamic. We had a good time.

I loved the couple’s dance they incorporated for the adults that were together.

We brought back so many memories from this trip. But like most experiences, my being cannot process them all at once. They simply combine together into one simple feeling: pure happiness.

What has been your favorite vacation destination? Is your favorite part the food? Or the experiences?

Our Trip to Maui Part II


I had booked us three excursions while we were in Maui. They were: ziplining (which gets a report all of its own), snorkeling and a luau.



The snorkeling excursion I picked for us was on the Four Winds II. It went to Molokini. The captain of this boat is one of the most enjoyable human beings I have ever come across. He was absolutely hilarious. He made me almost cry from laughing so hard. I do not want to give away all of his jokes. Here are some gems, but you have to imagine them being spoken in the perfect rugged sea captain grumble:


“Ahhhh, look over there at those humpback whales. You know, I know everything there is to know about the humpback whale… No, really it’s true. I couldn’t figure out why I knew so much. I went to a hypnotist and she put me under. Turns out I was a humpback whale in a previous life…”

“Look at that beauty slapping her tale. Mmmm…it drives me crazy.”

Oh, you had to be there. His delivery was exceptional. He let my son “drive” the boat. My son loved him. I loved him. The trip was worth it just to hear the comedy. The snorkeling was nice. The crew was sweet. We took some amazing pictures of whales. They have a photographer onboard who is phenomenal. Definitely worth purchasing his photos. I highly recommend this company.





I booked the luau closest to our hotel. It was at The Grand Wailea. The Grand Wailea is huge. I had checked out rooms here, but they were too small for the price. Pool cabanas here run around $400 a day! Can you imagine? It was way too crowded for my version of a relaxing vacation, but the pools looked amazing.

The luau itself was very well done. Our family really enjoyed it. They even have a man who spins fire! The most impressive thing was the food. I had not planned on enjoying a mass produced meal, but it was delicious.

Drinks come with the meal. They are not good and are very watered down. Be a genius like the other family at our table, and drink the free bottled wine.

The couple sitting next to us had been married 29 years. They were an older couple with twin eight year old boys. The most wonderful aspect about them was they were still madly in love. I loved the smiles they would give each other. I asked the husband what their secret was and this was his answer:

“Respect. We really respect each other. We know what each of us is good at. Every person brings something to the table. You have to let your partner shine.”

Lovely advice from a very nice man. It was a delightful evening.




My husband found us a fantastic breakfast place called Kihei Caffe. We ate here twice. It was very inexpensive and had big plates of fantastic food.




Our super sweet bellhop had recommended some restaurants to us when he delivered our groceries to our room. One of them was Pita Paradise. This was our favorite spot on the trip. It is a greek restaurant. The owner catches fresh fish everyday. I am adventurous, so I had the chicken kabobs both times we ate here. The bread is delicious and the tzatziki sauce is heavenly. My husband also tried the greek burger. He said it was wonderful. My kids had the chicken parmigiana.



The other restaurant he recommended was Cafe O’lei . It is a steakhouse. It was also inexpensive for the area. The shortribs I ordered were good. The mango margarita was one of the best I have had.


We stumbled upon this little hut selling hawaiian icees. It is called S & Q’s. Oh my goodness! Have you ever had an icee over vanilla ice cream? Amazing! Worth the trip alone. I loved Maui!


I gained four pounds on this trip! Shocking right? But that is what vacation is for. Indulgence. Now it is back to reality and self restraint. Why does it have to be over?

My favorite part of our trip was the whale watching and piƱa coladas. My children’s best memory was zip-lining. My husband, the most thoughtful, said his favorite part was watching our son try new things and gain some much needed self confidence. So, there you have it. Maui: the place to go to test your boundaries, watch mammals in the water and drink fruity cocktails while doing so.

What has been your very favorite vacation spot? Oh, and do you know of any place that sells true Hawaiian icees over ice cream in Southern California? I NEED one! (said in my best sea captain grumble)