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Seattle, Washington
topics of concern: Seattle, celebration, husband(Mr. Fleece), clothes, crafts, Jesus.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hawaii | Kauai Highlights

Fun Memories:
- Stumbling upon our favorite free hula show, & getting up & dancing! They thought we were on our honeymoon : ) 
- Seeing (& hearing) chickens/roosters everywhere!
- Seeing the lush, jungle-y, beautiful fauna & flora for the first time. 
- Being given free burritos on our ill-prepared for, muddy hike along the Napoli Coast (thank you, crew of the women's athletic wear, shooting your commercial!)
- Meeting Preston & staying in the "Moon Room" at a hippie mansion...
- Navigating our way to find the perfect boogey boarding beach. Definitely got pummeled at a few beaches along the way.
- Borrowing a kind couple's second boogey board & understanding the difference between a real board & a $20 knock-off from K-Mart. 
- Stumbling across the "local's" beach.
- Enjoying some of the best food of our entire trip.  
- Going to Costco again...
- Getting a glimpse of the Marriott Resort - what an amazing pool!
- Making a video of my indecisive nature. Nothing better than a good life lesson while devouring a delicious slice of chocolate pie. Conclusion: a fancy night at Tidepool's can always wait : )
- Driving through Waimea Canyon & spotting a mountain goat!
- Finding some great snorkeling spots including Poipu & Lawa'i Beach
- Trying all the samples at the Coffee Plantation Tour

Not to Miss:
Waimea Canyon - it's a gorgeous drive & will satisfy the national-park lover part of you.
Poipu Beach - very popular beach. It's where we saw our first monk seal & sea turtles!
McArthur's Beach - my favorite beach from the whole vacation. It's vast & beautiful, perfect for sunset.
Hanalei Beach - we didn't stay here long due to weather, but it's really beautiful. If we go back, I'd take a surfing lesson here. 
Hee Fat General Store - they serve the best shaved ice in the islands, no doubt about it. 
Hanapepe Friday Art Market - such a fun event. We explored lots of little shops, admiring everything form pottery to photography. We also ventured into the western most book store in the U.S.!
Queen's Bath - a short little hike that takes you down to some fun spots to explore

Where to Eat:
Shrimp Station - Kauai is known for their shrimp. The garlic shrimp & coconut shrimp were both amazing!
Puka Dog - a funky hot dog place with fruity sauces. Busy, but worth it. 
Right Slice Pie - So delicious! They were a vendor at the night market. 
Chicken in a Barrel - really yummy BBQ chicken. Like, really, really tender chicken. 
Lei Petite Cafe & Bakery - part of a shopping complex, but a wonderful breakfast spot. They accidentally gave us an extra acai bowl, which we gladly devoured : )



 
I could go for another slice of pie,

SJW

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hawaii | Oahu Highlights

Fun Memories:
- Driving around most of the island - it's all so beautiful! 
- Staying in the "Hobbit Hut" on the north shore
- Snorkeling for the first time at Shark's Cove and last time at Hanauma Bay
- Walking the streets of Waikiki late at night & being entertained by crazy street performers
- Staying with our friend & having a home base to chill
- Eating a dole whip at the Dole Plantation Factory - riding the train to escape the rain! 
- Stumbling upon a couple free hula shows in the marketplace
- Having the pool to ourselves on Super Bowl Sunday
- Shopping at the local Japanese store, Don Quijote, and trying bentos/spam musubi/mochi etc.
- Getting a bonus day when our flight to Seattle was canceled due to the PNW snowstorm

Not to Miss:
- Visiting Pearl Harbor Memorial 
- Hiking Diamond Head
- Walking along Waikiki & seeing all of "Old Hawaii's" hotels like the pink Royal Hawaiian 
- Eating at The Elephant Truck (one of my favorite spots across all the islands. Delicious Thai food on the north shore. Try their Thai iced tea!)
- Enjoying malasadas (Portuguese donuts) from Leonard's Bakery 

Where to Eat:
-  Goofy's (favorite spot in Waikiki)
- Hokkaido Ramen Santouku (a local's favorite)
- Arvo Cafe (super cute coffee shop with yummy avocado toast)
- Island Brew Coffeehouse (a great hang out spot when you lock your keys in your car in the parking lot of Costco :) )

Living that Honolulu life,
SJW

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hawaii | An Overview

Summarizing a two and a half week vacation to Hawaii is a bit difficult. We saw, tasted, & experienced so many different things! I'll share highlights from each island, but for now, here are some overarching thoughts that can serve as a general recap: 
  • Long vacations allow time to truly relax & unplug. I highly recommend them!
  • Hawaii is so incredibly beautiful!
  • The seemingly infinite ocean with amazing fish & boundless skies with countless stars helped remind me that the God of the Bible is truly infinite, boundless, majestic, & powerful. 
  • We're glad we visited the islands that we did. Oahu was fun because we got great time with our friend, KT and experienced an insider's take on the city of Honolulu & Waikiki. Kauai has the most stunning lush landscape with some gorgeous beaches. We had our favorite shaved ice here and would fly back for that alone! However, I enjoyed our week on the Big Island the best - a combination of where we stayed, lots of pool time, taking some larger excursions, and of course, seeing lava! 
  • Trying to pronounce all the Hawaiian street names while giving directions to Mr. Fleece on our outings provided a daily laugh. 
  • I really like spam musubi and mochi. 
  • Discontentment, unmet expectations, miscommunication, rainy days, long lines, indecision, locked keys in the car, & a cancelled flight can all still happen while on vacation.
  • Our favorite memory was an evening at Uncle Robert's in Pahoa (the Big Island). Picture an outdoor market, with a covered pavilion almost cafeteria like gathering space, run by local Hawaiians with lots of food vendors & an awesome band. We spent several hours just listening to the music & even ended up on the dance floor : )
  • We reapplied sunblock like crazy which prevented us from becoming the commonplace lobster-faced/shouldered tourist.
  • We spent most of our mornings out snorkeling & boogie boarding - I fell in love with both activities! But more than just seeing Hawaii for the fun activities, beautiful scenery, & luxurious resorts - we got a better sense of the rich culture & history. From Polynesian navigation and the Pearl Harbor attack, to the story of Pele the goddess of fire and the formation of the islands, there's lots to learn. 
  • Mr. Fleece, true to his namesake, packed and wore a couple fleeces. 
  • We feel like we experienced a lot of different aspects of Hawaii including "hippie" Hawaii by staying on several sustainable farms, the "local" Hawaii by staying with our friend/interaction with one amazing tour guide/the night market I already mentioned, and "tourist" Hawaii because we did indeed go to lots of popular spots & even stayed one night at a fancy hotel!
  • Other activities included lots of short hikes with big payoffs, some food tours, & pool time. 
  • We saw dolphins, sea turtles, whales, mongoose, wild boar, & many many cook-a-doodle-doo-ing roosters. 
  • Mr. Fleece & I have a lot of fun together. He's really great!
  • Per my mother's recommendation, I started the book Hawaii by James Mischner - thought it was fitting : )
Rainbow Shave Ice over Macadamia Nut Ice Cream from The Hee Fat General Store in Kaapa on Kauai.

Sporting the faintest of tan lines,

SJW

Monday, January 16, 2017

New Year's Resolutions | 2017

Some thoughts and changes for the new year ahead. I resolve to:

Limitations
* Only read blogs on the weekends
* No Instagram/personal Facebook until 1st of the month
* Try to be off phone/computer for the last 30 minutes of the day

Goals
* Follow this bible in a year plan
* Participate in my friend BB's online reading club (& maybe the Queen Anne Library's?)
* Volunteer with 2-3 organizations 
* Send one snail mail letter/postcard each week
* Launch Air B&B for the summer months & see how it goes
* Take better care of my feet (meaning buy good walking shoes, wear slippers in the house, use foot cream, and get a pedicure every now and then)

Rhythms
* Establish "weekly projects" & tackle my "I'll get to it some-day" plans by doing little & often
* Maintain Saturday morning coffee dates with Mr. Fleece, but switch to Saturday morning hiking dates when the weather gets nice : ) 
* Use one weekend day for chores, one weekend day for rest/play

Travel Plans
* Explore Hawaii with Mr. Fleece (Jan-Feb)
* Go to Washington D.C. for MLT's wedding (April)
* Plan a possible weekend trip to Bellingham to celebrate 5 year wedding anniversary (July)
* Enjoy a 7-Day Mediterranean Cruise with family to Spain, France, Italy (September)
* Spend Christmas with my parents!? (December)

Here's to the year of the Rooster,
SJW

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Melting Pot of Styles | Home Tour

I'm willing to bet that my childhood home is more eclectic than yours. My mother has a love for all things vintage and she gladly displays her interest! Vintage can mean everything from farmhouse rustic and Victorian charm, to shabby chic and retro fun. Suffice it to say, it was a great house for playing dress up : ) Plus, there's nothing like functional art. Need a purse for a date? Just snag one on your way downstairs!
Entryway
Living room fireplace
Kitchen
Dining room
Dining room

Hallway
Stairway
Landing at top of stairs
My room
...my very girly room
My sister's room
Storage shed
Patio with fire pit
"Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story." - Erin Flett

SJW

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Life Wright Now | December 2016

WATCHING
To prep for our upcoming trip to Hawaii, Mr. Fleece & I decided to go enjoy the latest Disney film, Moana. It's so good & we can't stop listening to the soundtrack!
EATING
Best meal in? The Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast for Christmas dinner.
Best meal out? Spaghetti and Clams from Etta's. I learned the restaurant is named after Tom Douglas's daughter, Loretta.

READING
I read the 600+ page epic tale, "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. It's the first in a trilogy, & the third book hasn't been released yet. It reminded me of Harry Potter & was hard to put down. I already have a hold on book two, "The Wise Man's Fear." If you're a fan of fantasy or just want to read a novel with an intriguing plot, I'd recommend it.
LISTENING
Well I wasn't joking when I said all the songs from the Moana soundtrack. But other than those, we really like "Wolves and the Water" by Edward R. & "Arizona" by Frances Cone.

Happy 2017,

SJW