Friday, January 27, 2017

Mango Muffins & Choking on Water

 Yesterday (Thursday) I made some (healthy) mango muffins. Honestly, I feel like I had more fun baking them than eating them! Baking is a serious stress reliever. Do it! :)
It feels really good to be making a new blog post. My week was boring in the beginning (a mix of rainy and unmotivated, ugh!), but on Thursday, it totally turned around. Last evening Roby and I went to youth group, where we played our weekly game of sock warz. Sock warz is where we throw socks filled with flour at people. Basically. As you may guess, it is filled with sweat and exhaustion.

At the end, a youth leader and some of the boys bring in a couple of bright-orange water coolers. Every time, the boys fight to be the first person to get water, and every time, the youth leaders let the girls go first. There was a certain boy, though, that really wanted water. When he heard he would have to wait, he dramatically doubled over and screamed "NO.. WATER!!!!!" My friend looked over at me and smirked, thus beginning laughing far longer than appropriate and choking on water.

Our birds have really been misbehaving. We have a bird feeder in our backyard, and when filled, we have over 20 birds flapping around the yard. We must drive our neighbors insane. It is a never-ending battle for the bird seed. Some birds-that-shall-not-be-named (DOVES) are bigger than the tiny little tropical birds, and they take full advantage of that, by picking the little birds up by the neck and shaking them around till they scream "uncle! uncle!" Sometimes I feel guilty for causing so much violence.

I am going surfing (for the first time EVER) with a friend on Saturday morning. Pray for me guys! Hi, I'm Abi, the girl who got smashed into the sand three times in a row today at the beach. Oh dear. My brother is coming up with all these crazy scenarios of things that could happen to me while surfing. All I know is, there is gonna be an interesting post on Monday or Tuesday!

Mahalo for Reading!

P.S. This is my 100th post!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Please come back another day


Rain, rain go away,
Please come back another day
Since I last posted: rain, rain, relaxing, church, shopping, schoolwork, beach, RAIN. So in other words, life lately has been pretty boring. It poured all day on Saturday, preventing everyone from going surfing and playing in the ocean. I love rain, but when going to the beach is on your radar for the day, and you wake up at 7: 30 a.m. excited to get going, but you soon look outside and sigh. I love rain, but not when it prevents me from going to the beach.
This week...
Number of cracked kindles {1}
Number of times gone to the beach {1}
Number of books finished {0}
Number of pieces of cake eaten {3}
Number of smoothies drank {4}
Number of nights I aspired to go on a run the next morning {2}
Number of mornings I actually went for a run {0}
Number of times I got some random off-the-wall idea {3}
As you can see, I've had a very productive week.
Mahalo for reading!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

10 Things Most People Don't Realize about Hawaii

Before I moved to Hawaii, I heard lots of "information" about life here from people who had vacationed here for a week, never been here, lived here for years, or watched a movie set in Hawaii. With all that information (most of it being false) coming in, it is difficult to figure out what is right and what is just plain lies.

Today, I thought it would be fun to teach you the things I've learned about actual life here, and what things I've learned about Hawaii that I found interesting.

1. Winter lasts half the year.
I've heard others say that Hawaii's only season is summer. True, it may have summer weather, but winter here lasts 6 months long! Winter weather in Hawaii usually means rain, big waves, and a chilly 70-80 degree temperature. Winter goes from November to April, and Summer goes from May to October.

2. The time difference is a bigger inconvenience than you realize.
You check the clock, and think, "yay! This is the perfect time to call so-and-so!" Then, you add 5 hours to your time to figure out what time it is at their house, realizing they are probably eating dinner at the moment. Oh, well.
Sometimes I write a blog post on the computer and publish it after dinner. A couple hours later, I'll check back wondering why no one has read it yet, and realize it's the middle of the night for most people on the mainland.

3. Island time is the real deal.
BTW, your mozzarella sticks will be ready in two hours.

4. Bumps, scrapes, & bruises
I have a cut on my foot from being smashed against the reef by a big wave. Sometimes I'll exit the water, looking down and realizing blood is dripping down my leg from getting cut multiple times by the large, rocky reef. Living here, it is impossible to not have cuts and bruises from the ocean.

5. Living here is way different than vacationing here.
When vacationing here, you stay in a nice hotel, have fantastic WiFi connection, have fancy dinners,  go to a beach with perfectly white sand with perfectly clear water, going to perfectly planned out tourist traps.
Living here, however, is staying in a small house filled with ants, geckos, centipedes, and who-knows-what. The WiFi stops working 3-4 times a day, and for a treat, locals here go to a nearby food truck (but trust me, the food is amazing, and the guys that work there are so nice!!). Even though life here isn't as luxurious, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love it just the way it is! :)

6. Living here is like living in a bubble.
Imagine this: you mostly just watch Hawaii news on T.V., so the only stuff you really hear about is high surf, winds, volcanoes erupting, and the occasional stolen wallet. Shows are on at weird times, so you mostly just go without. As for listening to the radio, the stations consist of two Christian music stations, about three old Hawaiian music stations, and two old (and I mean old) pop music stations. Radio stations only come in about half the time, anyway. In other words, I don't hear about all the drama surrounding the presidential election, I have absolutely no idea what is going on with reality TV stars on the mainland, and I am clueless about new music. But, I do know the ocean conditions for today, enjoy watching KITV 4 (the news channel), and love the relaxed Hawaii ukelele music.

7. It is super easy to spot tourists.
Hint: they're usually the ones that are in huge groups of people on the shore, taking pictures, while wearing ginormous sunhats and sunglasses.
Or the girls lying in the sand wearing super-skimpy bikinis that would fall off the first time a big wave came their way. Yup.

8. We live off smoothies, fresh fruit, shave ice, and acai bowls.
No explanation necessary.

9. The ocean is pretty safe, if you know what you're doing.
The most common thing I've heard is "what about the sharks?" Something you need to know is that if you are still touching the ground, you have no real reason to be paranoid. If you listen to the lifeguard's instructions and obey them, don't paddle out too far, know what to do if the rip current pulls you out (swim to the side, then swim back), never go to beaches where there is no one is there (that might mean the ocean is filled with box jellyfish), always swim with a friend, and NEVER swim in murky waters (sharks love doing their hunting in murky waters, as fish can't see them, but the sharks can see the fish), you should be perfectly safe. Be smart in the ocean!

10. You develop a love for watching surfing.
Most places have football or soccer, but in Hawaii, we have surfing. I love watching amazing surfers like Kelly Slater and Bethany Hamilton. People cheer on the mainland when someone scores a touchdown, but here, everyone cheers when someone gets barreled or gets air time.

So, did you learn anything new about Hawaii? What is the most common thing you've heard about Hawaii? Also, if you have any questions, feel free to type them in a comment! I will do my best to respond. :)

Mahalo for reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Evil Vog & Psyco the Gecko


Ah, yes. Very flattering.

^photo creds to roby^  You know, you never realize what weird facial expressions you make until someone starts snapping random photos of you. Roby ordered a camera off amazon a couple weeks ago and immediately started taking pictures. It is SO weird being the one in front of the camera instead being the one behind it!
Lately, we have been experiencing vog. The KÄ«lauea Volcano has been erupting on the Big Island for years and years, and the Hawaii tradewinds take the vog (or the smoke that comes out of the volcano) and blows it around to other islands, and, yes, Oahu. It acts like pollen in the air and gives people (myself included) bad allergies. A runny nose, cough, and a tired, sick feeling come with it.

For a couple of weeks, all we've been hearing on T.V. and on the radio is vog, vog, vog. People here truly hate it. Though, there is something comforting about driving home from the beach, wondering why you all of a sudden feel so under the weather, and hearing on the radio that others are going through the exact same thing.

I had a super  active weekend. On Friday, we decided to conquer the Kaelia trail. It ended up taking about four hours, with three hours just climbing up the mountain. That was the most out-of-shape I've felt since I went for a ten-minute run. We met lots of awesome, friendly people who were struggling as much as we were. Hooray for group morale!

On Saturday, we hopped on a bus and went for a seven-hour tour around the island. Our tour guide told us Hawaiian greetings and cheesy jokes.

On Sunday, apparently not learning our lesson from Friday, we went on another hike. I loved  this one, though, because it was short and fun, with a spectacular view. After that, we went to the pool and Roby and I swam non-stop for about two hours.

And THEN, to top it all off, we went to the beach on Monday and I was out body surfing and boogie boarding for three hours.

As you may have already guessed, I am extremely tired today (Tuesday) with a sunburn and vog thrown in. Probably going to do it all again this weekend, though.
I was getting ready to go to the grocery store with my mom when I walked in the bathroom and got a little bit freaked out over what I saw.

Can you see it??
That's right, our family pet, Psyco the gecko, was back! He got bigger due to eating other  family pets, like ants and bugs. Pysco lives on our ceiling, and often moves from room to room. I once spotted him running into my bathroom. No one tries to get rid of him, though, because we think he's cute.

Lots of crazy things have been happening in my life, like going to a new youth group (I had an AWESOME time btw), going to a new church, getting the hang of body surfing, and just trying to find balance in my life.

Also, what do you think about the new design? Doesn't Abby have SO much talent? I am so excited about the new look.
I also updated my about page if you are interested.
Mahalo for reading!'

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bellows // the search

Can you spot stairway to heaven?

On Sundays, it is a family tradition of ours to go to the beach after church. It is usually warm, sunny, and breezy, but this Sunday was a little different. After I got "dressed up" for church (aka a gray skirt, tee shirt, and flip-flops), I went outside to refill our bird feeder. I was shocked by how cold and wet it was! The grass was soaking wet and it was only 57 degrees. So chilly, in fact, that the pastor made a comment on how he was forced to wear pants to church that day.

Luckily, when we got out of the service it had warmed up a little and was pretty windy, great beach weather! As recommended by a couple friends, we decided to head to the windward side of the island to go to Bellows, a supposedly "gorgeous, like how could something this beautiful exist" beach. The drive was very fun, because we were searching for Stairway to Heaven (a treacherous, dangerous hike up the side of the mountain usually gone on by daring tourists. it is now illegal, and if you get caught, you can get fined up to 1,000 dollars!).

When we got to Bellows, I realized that our friend was right. It really was gorgeous! The water was light blue and free of rocks, and the sand was warm and white. I immediately got out in the waves on my boogie board. For the next 3 hours I boogie boarded, swam, and body surfed, and I could totally tell I was out in the water because the next day, I felt sore as soon as I woke up and had a sunburn on my face and arms. It was worth it!

I am thinking about doing a Hawaii-theme giveaway. Any goodies you are interesting in getting from Hawaii? Exciting and fun things coming up on the blog soon! Keep checking the blog! :)

Mahalo for reading,

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

our first honu


Yesterday morning we got up and quickly finished schoolwork. We ate lunch and mom said: "who's ready for beach time!?" We smiled and loaded boogie boards, a skim board, a beach chair, towels, and a book for mom into the back of the car. We drove to the North Shore with the windows rolled down and anxiously looked for a beach with good conditions. We drove past the surf shops and the shave ice place, till we found a nice sandy beach, free of rocks and free of lots of people.
The lifeguard warned us not to go out too deep, due to a "nice little rip." We found a spot and watched the water for a while, then Roby went out on his skim board and myself on my Christmas gift, a 41' yellow and black boogie board. I waited for a nice wave to come, and after a while, a big wave, like a bluish crystal-clear wall, appeared before me. I jumped on my board and smiled to myself as the wave gently picked me up and threw me as hard as it could toward shore. The wave sprayed me in the face and I slid onto the sand.
We had to dig our knees into the sand at the end of each wave to prevent getting pulled in by the rip tide. I got up and began to look for another good wave. I saw a little bump forming a little ways away and decided to wait for that wave. The wave started to get bigger and bigger, and I saw something bobbing over the wave. After the wave had passed, I saw it swim to the surface. I watched in amazement, when I realized: "Sea turtle!"
I showed Roby and we were ecstatic, smiling like crazy. I looked over to mom, who was watching the sea turtle as well. She was smiling too.

 the view from my bedroom window
 today.... we've done school, and just relaxed. looking at cute swimsuits online! it's really dreary, quiet, and the birds are out and about
 Mahalo for reading!
your friend,