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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I am so glad we got to spend so much time with your family while they were here.  I know you definitely enjoyed yourself and they did too!

2.  I am really happy you got to do all the stuff you did.  I know you had fun!

3.  I am excited to hit the beach up this weekend.  We need more color haha.

4.  I think our new card game is going to be a blast!

5.  Think we could head up to the North Shore soon for some stargazing?  I hope so!

ily <3

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ten for Friday

1.  I love making you laugh :)

2.  I told you you look good in yellow!  Haha.

3.  I hope you are enjoying your family visiting!

4.  I also hope you've been enjoying the food and are ready for more!

5.  I love watching you and Liam nuzzle together. It is adorable!

6.  Thank you so much for my anniversary canvases. They turned out so well, especially the Haleakala one. I love them!

7.  Speaking of anniversary, I am so happy we have celebrated four amazing years together.  Here's to more than four!

8.  I hope you enjoyed our very first massages ever. I know I was relaxed and I can't wait to do more with you!

9.  And I don't even have to ask to know that you enjoyed Godzilla! I'm so happy you were able to actually enjoy a movie in the theater without pain.

10.  I'm very excited to start prepping for our Big Island trip together. It'll be so much fun!
Bonus: I know that we have moved toward a big step in this whole medical process, but just know that I am here for you every step of the way and we are going to be fine. I love you so much!

ily <3

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Favorite Homemade Seasoning Recipes

If there's one "Pinterest trend" I've gotten on board with since joining the popular website, it would definitely have to be the make-your-own seasoning blends trend that I pretty much see everywhere.  I really love the idea of having all of the control when it comes to what goes into your seasonings, especially when it comes to avoiding things like preservatives and too much salt.  I know you probably don't need much convincing when it comes to making your own blends, so let's dive right into my favorite recipes!

Homemade Italian Seasoning Blend

Recipe courtesy of

  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried sage


Combine ingredients together thoroughly and store in an airtight container.  If you desire a finer texture, add to a food processor and blend well.

Homemade Mexican Seasoning Blend

Recipe courtesy of

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Combine ingredients together thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Homemade Greek Seasoning Blend

Recipe courtesy of
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

Combine ingredients together thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend

Recipe courtesy of
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest (I used two lemons)
  • 3 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


Preheat oven to lowest setting (170 degrees for my oven.

Combine lemon zest and black pepper together in a metal pan lined with foil.  Bake low and slow until the zest is completely dried out (mine took about 35 minutes or so).

Transfer to a bowl and use either the back of a spoon or a spice grinder to crush mixture until desired texture is achieved.  Then add in the salt, mix together, and store in an airtight container.


Do you have any favorite go-to homemade seasoning recipes?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument

The Need to Knows:
  • The Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument is located at the end of Pu'u O Mahuka Road in Pupukea, HI.  It's exact location is here:
  • The Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau is open during daylight hours.
  • There is no entrance fee and parking is free.
  • This monument is the largest heiau (Hawaiian temple) on Oahu as well as a National Historic Landmark and very sacred.  Please be respectful and do not disturb the heiau in any way or climb over or into the structure.
  • The area around the heiau is not shaded, so if you plan on spending a bit of time here I'd suggest sunscreen or a hat to keep you protected from the sun.
  • Out of respect for practitioners of Hawaiian religion and spirituality, it is suggested that you refrain from leaving your own offerings along the temple walls unless you yourself are a practitioner.
  • The road is relatively well-maintained and although there are switchbacks, we've easily been able to make it to the parking lot in a 4 door sedan on multiple occasions.
The Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument is a sacred Hawaiian temple located on the North Shore near Shark's Cove.  The heiau is thought to have been constructed in the 1600s and is the largest heiau on Oahu.  Translated, the name means "hill of escape" and was very likely quite important to the Hawaiian people's religious, social, and political systems.

The website Hawaii State Parks talks a little about what this heiau used to look like:
Built as a series of 3 walled enclosures, the stacked rock walls ranged from 3 to 6 feet in height and the interior surface was paved with stone. Within the walls were wood and thatch structures. Such a large heiau would have been built by the maka├žainana (commoners) under the direction of a high ruling chief (ali'i nui) and his priests (kahuna).

Because of this heiau's location and incredible views, it was tied with another heiau on the island of Kauai and would visually communicate with it via signal fires.  Seeing that Kauai and Oahu are over 100 miles apart, this is definitely impressive!

It's actually a bit eerie exploring the grounds of this heiau when it's very quiet and it takes on a whole new presence when you realize that this heiau quite possibly had instances of human sacrifice in the 1700s during times of war.  The last time I was here, I could have sworn I heard voices in the forest, but then we realized that people's voices from Waimea Bay Beach down below were actually carrying all the way up to us!  So don't get spooked like I did, haha.

Offerings are often left here as a remembrance of the historical and religious importance of this heiau.  You can see many rocks wrapped in leaves and grass as well as offerings of leis, flowers, and even food along the temple walls.

You'll also notice red dirt trails that lead around the heiau.  Feel free to walk these (but look out for potential mud!) to get a sense of just how large the heiau is -- nearly two acres.

You can also use these trails to get some gorgeous views of Waimea Bay.  These shots were taken from the upper left and bottom left sides of the heiau.

I really love learning as much as I can about Hawaiian culture and visiting this heiau was a great way to gain more knowledge about it.  I definitely recommend stopping and checking it out if you get the chance!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Six for Saturday

1.  I'm glad we got to take advantage of your early day yesterday!  It was really nice, even if we spent a half hour looking for dang Legos, haha.

2.  I am beyond thrilled that we got to go back to Maui :)  I had a wonderful time with you and I hope you did too!

3.  Watching the sunrise with you at Haleakala will probably be one of my fondest memories with you.  I'm so happy we got to finally see it and no government shutdowns interfered!

4.  I'm glad you went out on a walk with me tonight!  Let's keep it up :)

5.  We need to get started on chores!  It's almost time for more company!  :D

6.  Um, how in the heck is our four year anniversary this week??  Where has the time gone?!

ily!  <3

Friday, May 2, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I love sharing special little moments with you, like yesterday in the car.

2.  Thank you for all your help with the dogs this week.  You've been wonderful!

3.  I'm really happy you got to do all the things we did yesterday.  Good days are awesome!

4.  I think we need some relaxation time.  Hopefully we can recover this weekend, haha.

5.  You should start reading GoT this weekend please!  :)

ily <3