Oahu Guide Part 4: Kailua

    March 7, 2018

    I love Kailua. It was so nice to spend a few days away from the hustle of Honolulu and take some time to slow down. We were about a 4 minute walk to the beach, and we took a lot of time just to enjoy the moments of quiet and relaxation. Everything is very centralized with grocery stores and shops within a mile to two-mile bike ride. There a few things that Will and I love to do when we travel: go to local coffee shops, spend time in bookstores, find a record store, and go to the Farmer’s Market. We definitely did all of that and more in Kailua.

    We went to Chadlou’s Coffee a lot while we were staying there. It’s a comfy spot nestled between local clothing shop BettyxJoe as well as stand alone Olive and Oliver boutiques. I spent a lot of time browsing through the shops because they were all so well-curated and fun to be in. I enjoyed the vibes and chatting with the people who work there.

    I also made it my mission to stop by Aloha Beach Club and get Will an Aloha print shirt that is made in-house. Their shop is super cool supporting local gear and up and coming brands like Crap Eyewear. They also house The Local, a shaved ice joint that uses fresh fruit juice and syrups. It was so delicious and refreshing. We sat outside the shop with our shaved ice while watching the bustle from Boots & Kimos.

    And, right outside of Kailua, in the neighboring city of Kane’ohe, is the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. It felt like a dream going through the gardens…and it’s completely free! Unfortunately, we were pressed for time and couldn’t stay very long. I’m making sure that I have a picnic in the gardens next time I’m in Oahu.

    Oahu Guide Part 3: Honolulu

    March 6, 2018

    Honolulu is the central hub for all the islands. The city is often overlooked as visitors tend to head straight to Waikiki or completely outside of the city’s perimeters. While not exactly part of the island getaway one often imagines taking, Honolulu has a bustling creative local scene that I personally gravitate towards. From the fresh takes on food, art, and shopping, Honolulu is making it’s mark as a destinations for creative folks.

    I’ve been finding some of the coolest spots in my recent travels that I just had to share with all of you. We love the growth of art and culture in this city. Check it out below!

    SALT at our Kaka’ako is a new pedestrian open space intended to further support the local creative scene and economy through locally owned restaurants, boutiques, and art. The buildings that were already there were repurposed to create a community feel. We loved browsing through ARVO, Paiko, and Milo. Each so distinct in its own minimalist style.

    I also made it a mission to visit all of Ed Kenney’s restaurants in Honolulu. I was blown away by each and every one. From Mahina & Sun’s, to Mud Hen Water, to Town, to Kaimuki Superette, each had a sense of comfort but newness to it. His mantra,“local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always,” truly shows in each restaurant. I still can’t get over the handmade pasta from Town or the ‘ulu pancakes from Mahina & Sun’s, or the muffins at Kaimuki Superette, or the…everything…at Mud Hen Water. I love how he takes real local ingredients and incorporates them into familiar dishes. To start you off, I highly suggest Mud Hen Water for brunch. The biscuits and Mapo Gravy is amazing!

    The scene is definitely thriving, and it feels so special especially being nestled in the one of the most well-known vacation destinations in the world. Have you been to Honolulu? Do you have any favorite spots in the city? Share your tips in the comments below!





    Oahu Guide Part 2: The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

    February 28, 2018

    Hawaii is second home to me. When my mother immigrated to the U.S, her first home was Hawaii before settling in California. I’ve been going back for over 15 years and there’s always something new that I haven’t explored. 

    We got to stay at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Waikiki. It was unlike any hotel experience I’ve had on the island. It was unique in that it combines laid back retro cool with modern local elements. The Surfjack is visually stunning; we love the mid-century modern vibes with touches of hip Honolulu detail like the Shaka and pineapple patterns. Our room felt like our own little bungalow in Waikiki instead of a standard hotel room.

    The designers envisioned a space for hotel guests to understand the true local Honolulu experience without being kitschy and cliched. The city has been experiencing a cultural renaissance, priding itself in its strong art, food, and art scene. The core idea is to bring this cultural pride back into Waikiki to make for a richer and more fulfilling experience.

    With an Olive & Oliver outpost along with Mahina & Sun’s serving as hotel’s restaurant, The Surfjack showcases the movers, shakers, and creators of the Honolulu scene. The hotel also provides weekly activities such as poolside film screenings, workshops led by local companies (like flower crown making courtesy of Paiko), pilates, and live music for both locals and travelers to partake and share in the community space.  

    I’m the type of person that loves a hotel that pays attention to details and is immersive in local experiences. I felt the deep sense of community, love, and pride in the hotel. For once, I actually slowed down and enjoyed the experience of being at a hotel and not feel so rushed to be out and about. If you’re looking for a unique and refreshed experience of Waikiki, the Surfjack is a hotel you should stay at. I’ll definitely be back.


    Oahu Guide Part 1: Kualoa Ranch

    February 27, 2018

    Hawaii! This trip was my very first time to Oahu. And when it’s my first time traveling to a new place I like to do all that touristy stuff. I mean, there is a reason why everyone goes there right?

    Our first stop was Kualoa Ranch, a beautiful nature reserve about 24 miles from Honolulu​. It’s natural beauty has made it the perfect backdrop for countless movies and TV shows such as Jumanji, 50 first Dates, Jurassic Park, the Karate Kid, Lost, and Hawaii 5-0 which is still being filmed in Oahu.

    It seemed like a must see for tourists in Oahu. The ranch offers a host of activities meant to take advantage of the expanse and beauty of the reserve. There was so much to do that we divided our activities throughout our entire trip.

    They offer several tours such as a Movie Ranch tour, Jungle tour, and Catamaran tour. You can also ride ATVs or go on horseback. The first activity we did was the Movie Ranch Tour. You hop on an old school bus and the tour guides points out where various movies were filmed. There are a couple stops where you’re able to get off the bus to explore. I remember seeing the bunker where episodes of “Lost” were filmed, and also feeling like I was actually in Jurassic Park.

    On the second day, we were supposed to do the Jungle Ranch Tour. Unfortunately, we were late, and were unable to hop on that tour. I suggest making reservations in advance. A week before our trip it was easy enough to call to book for the times and tours we wanted. However, if you don’t check in 15 minutes prior to your reservation, they will give it away.

    Instead, we went ATV riding. The raptor ATVs  allows you to ride with several people in the ATVs as opposed to individually. It was the best way to explore Kualoa Ranch, as the open structure of the ATV, paired with the ability to drive through the ranch with the tour guide gave you a more intimate look of Kualoa.  It poured that day, but that didn’t stop the tour from happening and actually made it more fun! They provide ponchos to keep your clothes dry, but riding around in ATVs in warm rain, and going through puddles through the beautiful terrain was an unforgettable experience.

    Kualoa Ranch in recent years has also taken to developing parts of Kualoa ranch to not only be self-sustaining but to sustain Hawaii as well. It is an active ranch, with handlers cultivating different crops, like Cacao, and taking care of the fish and cows to ensure Hawaii continues to thrive well into the future.

    I was in awe of this experience. I didn’t think a place this beautiful existed. It never got old for me. I went there 3 times and I couldn’t get enough of it. Kualoa Ranch is a must visit in Oahu.


    Women Wednesdays: Erbose

    January 24, 2018

    Audrey pictured

    We’ve been having an amazing time with our Women Wednesday series this month. We’re feeling so deeply connected to our community and are enjoying the responses we’ve been getting from our readers both on the web and in real life.

    This week, we’re featuring the women behind Erbose, one of our favorite skincare lines. Sisters Audrey Dombroski and Jen Schachtebeck created Erbose with a focus on clean beauty. They are committed to self-care through holistic skincare rituals and creating a community of wellness. Audrey and Jen are truly inspiring and have created beautiful products that are environmentally and ethically sound.

    Jen pictured

    We’ve talked about Erbose products before, and we’re happy to say that the results from using their products have been nothing short of amazing. We’re excited to share Audrey and Jen’s story of how Erbose began and what continues to inspire them.

    1. When did you first realize that you wanted to start a skincare line? What called you to it?

    Audrey: I’ve always relied on various self-care rituals to support my physical and mental well-being and while I was studying herbalism, my new found relationship with plants only solidified my commitment to health and wellness. I’ve always been conscious of what I was putting into my body, but only then did I start looking into what I was putting on my body. I began formulating plant-based skincare products for myself, quickly realizing the healing qualities these products provided my skin. I then branched out and started transforming plants into useful products for our family and friends and received great feedback about the effectiveness these products offered. It was then that I became committed to creating and providing products in hopes of empowering others to look at their daily beauty routines through a holistic lens.

    2. What characteristics do you admire most in other women?

    We really admire women who are comfortable in their own skin, who appreciate themselves exactly as they are. We’re also really inspired by women who empower and support other women. Having a community of women who encourage other women to pursue their goals is key. Let’s build each other up instead of holding each other back!

    3. What was the best piece of business advice that you’ve received?

    Measure your degree of passion. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, why would anyone else?

    4. What is your personal or professional motto?

    “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

    5. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently when you started?

    Editing! The excitement of first starting out had us crazy with ideas with what we wanted to create and introduce. That, in turn, resulted in way too many products that ultimately felt excessive—a concept that strays from what we want our products to be: simple, clean and uncomplicated. Keeping things simple from the get-go while staying true to yourself is the best way to start any endeavor.

    6. What resources do you recommend to someone starting in your industry?

    We love reading blogs like Chalkboard Mag, Well+Good, and mindbodygreen  for information regarding all around wellness, healthy eating, and natural health. We recommend keeping up with clean beauty products and trends. We love The Moment for information about beauty products and clean living, and try to check in with organic/natural beauty bloggers on Instagram like sunkissedkateblog, livingprettynaturally, and annalovesorganicbeauty for clean products they’re currently into.

    7. If you were given an extra 2 hours a day, what would you do with it?

    We’d definitely use some of that time for wellness- meditation, yoga, going on a hike- anything to cultivate mindfulness. We’d also spend the time catching up with new shows or hanging out with our family and friends. Maybe read a book (for fun)! Oh, and of course, get some extra sleep in the morning, because a little extra rest never hurt anyone! Can we have more than an extra 2 hours? 🙂

    8. What inspires you?

    We’re inspired by a lot of things:

    • A curiosity for the natural world and its healing qualities

    • A desire to create and work with our hands

    • What others in our industry are doing

    • Community building through clean living aspirations

    • A desire to help and show people just how easy it can be to live a natural life

    The list goes on and on….

    9. What’s next for Erbose? Anything exciting that you’d like to share?

    We recently launched the Erbose Baby Line which we’re really excited about! It’s bringing some new opportunities and allowing us to work with health conscious parents who want to lead organic and natural lifestyles for themselves and their kids. We are also in the midst of formulating new face and body oils, so keep an eye out for that!

    Photo Credit: Audrey Dombroski + Jen Schachtebeck