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Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I hope you're enjoying the World Cup so far!  Go USA :)

2.  Thanks for going with me to Costco!  I appreciated the help and I know you appreciate the energy drinks, haha.

3.  And thank you for the new rug!  I think it really lightens up the living room and looks great.

4.  I'm hoping everything we talked about with your PCM pans out over the next few weeks.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

5.  I'm glad we're back to playing our game together, even if I have to take breaks because of the motion sickness.  Yuck!

ily <3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Dragon's Teeth Lava


The Need to Knows:
  • Dragon's Teeth Lava can be found at the intersection of Office Road and Lower Honoapiilani Road, Lahaina, HI, 96761.  Its exact location is here:
  • There is no cost to park or to visit Dragon's Teeth Lava.
  • I'd definitely recommend wearing sturdy shoes since it's rocky and uneven terrain.
  • There are no restroom facilities here.
  • There is also no shade, so wear your sunscreen and bring your water.  You'll need it!
On a recent weekend getaway to the island of Maui, Mr. L and I had a little time to kill, so we decided to check out a place we'd read about in our handy dandy Maui Revealed book (which I highly recommend!) called Dragon's Teeth Lava.  Now, it's pretty obvious what you're in for when you go to check out this place -- lava formations.  Given that Mr. L and I both are pretty serious geology nerds (I absolutely loved my geology courses in college) we knew that this would be right up our alley!  Also, sidenote: I was brilliant and left my DSLR back at the hotel, so you all get to suffer through cell phone pictures!  Sorry!

The parking lot for this area is super easy to find, and to get to the trail head, just go to the end of the parking lot where two large plaques have been placed and where you also happen to see this view:



From here, just follow that well worn path near those small signs (they warn you to stay off the golf course) and also keep in mind that the area to your right is a sacred Hawaiian burial ground, which you are also not allowed to be on.  So basically, if you just stick to the path, you'll be fine.

Pathway with the lava formations to the left, right above the golf cart

After a short five-minute walk or so, you make it to the rocky coastline and you get some pretty nice views for your very minimal effort.



Keep walking to the left and you'll finally understand just why this lava is named Dragon's Teeth.



The lava, located here on Makaluapuna Point, was from one of the last flows on Maui and was much denser, lighter, and fine-grained than other typical flows around the island.  As this lava made its slow descent from the West Maui Volcano, the wind and ocean waves swept the lava into a sharp, jagged, upward position reminiscent of a row of dragon's teeth.




There were so many different kinds of lava formations that I had difficulty taking pictures of them all.  They were so interesting and fascinating and I probably could have spent much more time here than we actually did admiring the awesome handiwork of nature.

Collage of just a handful of formations we saw
This area reminded me of other peaceful coastline stops on Oahu like Laie Point and Spitting Caves.  You really could spend a nice afternoon here listening to the waves crash against the rocks and have the wind blowing in your face.  Rocky coastlines like these are some of my favorite parts of Hawaii.  They're just so ruggedly beautiful.



After walking around the teeth lava for a bit, we headed farther along the coast until we came across this really interesting "crop circle":


I honestly am not sure what it is or where it came from, but I'm really anxious to find out!  From this spot you also have a fantastic view of the island of Molokai.  I love how the clouds gather around the tops of the islands -- gorgeous!


After probably a good hour of exploring, Mr. L and I decided we should finally leave and grab a bite to eat.  We really did love this little gem though, and if we ever find ourselves back on Maui and in this area, we'll for sure head here again and this time I will be remembering my DSLR!  ;)




Are you a fan of lava formations and rocky coastlines?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  We've gotten pretty good at last minute bookings, haven't we?  Haha.

2.  We'll have to go back to the shoreline soon so you can see Lila swim like a champ!

3.  I hope you're ready for your birthday presents!  :)

4.  Stay positive about the appointments on Monday!  I'm ready for good news for sure.

5.  I am beyond excited about our trip!  Here's hoping we have tons of fun!

ily and happy birthday this week!!  <3

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Taco Bundles

Back a couple of years ago now, I began making a recipe that was super simple, fast, and tasty and threw it up here on the ol' blog.  A friend of mine mentioned how she and her husband also make it but love to add their own little spin to the ingredients mixed up in the "pockets".  She got me thinking that I needed to put a little twist on it as well, so I took some of my homemade taco seasoning and went to town!

Adding the seasoning along with ground beef and cheese really made this recipe even better.  Now I'm excited to try new combinations and throw them into a bundle as well, and I encourage you to do the same!  :)



Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 green onion, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cans crescent rolls (you may not end up using both cans of rolls; just keep in mind one can equals four bundles)
  • Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Directions

Brown your ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink; drain any excess fat.  Add taco seasoning and stir.  In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, Mexican cheese blend, green onion, and ground beef until well-blended.



Open one package of crescent rolls and do NOT divide into triangles.  Keep them as rectangles by only separating every two triangles, forming four rectangles.  Press the seams together to keep the triangles from separating.  If you want more than four bundles, open the second can, too!


Place a spoonful of the ground beef mixture in each square and fold the corners into the middle -- I did opposite end to opposite end.  It doesn't have to be pretty, just secure!  Flip the bundles over and make sure the seams aren't coming apart on the bottoms.  Add sesame seeds on top for garnish if you wish.


Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.  Serve and enjoy!


Do you like to throw twists into some of your old recipes?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Seven for Sunday

1.  I like it when you get dressed up!  Do it more often :)

2.  I hope everything works out with the new acupuncturist. It'll suck driving to Wahiawa twice a week for me but I will do what I have to!

3.  I'm sorry about my darn motion sickness.  How inconvenient too!

4.  I'm excited for your birthday!  It's almost here :)

5.   I'm crossing my fingers for Kauai soon!  Let's just hope no medical appointments stand in our way.

6.  Thank you for coming to ETS with me!   I'm glad you had fun.

7.  New GoT tonight!  I'm sad to see the season end on our show haha.

ily <3

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: KCC Farmers' Market


The Need to Knows:
  • The Kapiolani Community College Farmers' Market (a.k.a. the KCC Farmers' Market) is located at Kapiolani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.  Its exact location can be found here:
  • This market is open every Tuesday from 4PM to 7PM and every Saturday from 7:30AM to 11AM. 
  • Parking is free and is located in the lot adjacent to the lot where the market is held, but it is definitely cramped and usually VERY packed.  If you're patient though, you'll find a spot (we always have), but there is street parking if you'd prefer it.
  • Cash is a must here, and also bring a reusable bag for your purchases.
  • Just like any other open air market, it can get hot very easily, so wear sunscreen and/or a hat to keep your skin protected.  An umbrella is always a good idea to have on hand as well in case it starts raining or you need more shade.
  • Unfortunately for all of us animal lovers out there, pets are not allowed at this particular event, so take them on a walk later to make up for leaving them behind :)

One of the first farmers' markets Mr. L and I had the pleasure of visiting here on Oahu was the Kapiolani Community College's market right across the street from Diamond Head over in Kaimuki.  This market isn't huge, but it is definitely bustling!  Tour buses frequently bring tourists here by the droves since it's so close to Waikiki.  But it is actually a very nice place to stroll around on a Saturday morning and check out what the farmers of Oahu have to offer (even in the rain, which is how I've explored this farmer's market the last two times I've visited, haha).


Honey
Jelly from Kahuku Farms
If you come here in the mid-morning on a Saturday, I won't lie -- you will definitely feel the press of the crowds around you.  Unfortunately it seems like the crowds stick around the entire day from opening to close (thanks, tour companies).  I'd really like to visit the market on a Tuesday though to compare and see if there's any difference, but I have a feeling this market is popular no matter what!

Aloun Farms

'Nalo Farms
I haven't done much actual grocery shopping here (you definitely have to keep an eye on the prices and be willing to compare them to your preferred local grocery store), but one of my favorite things about this market is all the food vendors - yum!  Since I love the event Eat the Street so dang much, visiting each different vendor is right up my alley.  If you're familiar with ETS, you'll notice some regulars here like Hawaiian Fresh Farms, Soul Patrol, and Na 'Ono.  Other stands have things like gourmet chocolate, homemade jams and jellies, honey, refreshing ginger ale, and even some local Hawaiian sausage (the Portuguese is so ono, trust me!).

The pineapple and ginger is awesome!
The sausage stand is on the far left and the Hawaiian chocolate is to the right
However, the produce and plants I have checked out looked awesome!  You can definitely find an assortment of yummy fruits, veggies, and flowers from farms all around Oahu.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the more exotic fruits as well like rambutan, dragon fruit, and lychee!




All in all, the KCC Farmers' Market was a great introduction to Hawaiian farmers' markets for Mr. L and me.  We definitely plan on heading back to the KCC Farmers' Market a few more times before we move back to the mainland, probably because we can't resist all the food stands :)

Do you have any farmers' markets that you love near you?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  It's been a heck of a week, hasn't it?  This new news kind of threw us for a loop, but I hope you know that I am up for anything that either keeps you in the military and/or keeps you happy!

2.  Figure out what you want to do for your birthday!!  :)

3.  I'm sorry acupuncture was really painful this week, but I am very glad you're going back.  I think it helps you more than you realize!

4.  It's about time you started reading GoT!  Now finish the series in less than five years please, haha.

5.  It really meant a lot to me to see how proud you were of me the other night for sticking with my C25K program.  You're such an amazing support system!

ily <3