Tuesday, July 17, 2018

15 cents

DSC03383 If you live in or planning to visit Hawaii, a new law applies a 15-cent charge for bags which started on July 1st.

Groceries, clothing, pretty much anything needing a bag will cost you 15-cents (each) unless you brought your own bag (s).

The only thing exempt is take out foods.

It can add up if you forget your bag.

I like that it will cut down the amount of plastic bags Hawaii will be using.

Monday, July 16, 2018

foodie july (first half)

Untitled Some of the new things I tried in the first half of July...

Stumptown Cold Brew with Coconut Cream & Sugar...I used half the carton (serving size is the whole carton) and diluted with more iced coffee...this was delicious.

mountain apple❤︎hello july ・ ・ ・ #syzygiummalaccense #malayroseapple #mountainapple #hawaii #supportlocal Juicy and ice cold mountain apple...delicious!

all cheese, house sauce, red bell peppers, red onions, spinach, mushrooms, olives, sausage & portuguese sausage❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #pieology #pearlridge #hawaii #pizza !st time at Pieology.

You can put any amount of toppings and the pizzas are all the same size and price.

Fun, fast and good.

❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #milkstout #firestonewalker #hawaii #nitromerlinmilkstout #darkbeer Firestone Walker's Nitro Merlin Milk Stout...chocolatey, a little smokey.

Would've been nice(r) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it...

Untitled Moena Cafe in Kapolei serves dinner and we went there while my Dad's sister was in town...

The braised short ribs were tender.

The okinawan sweet potato mash was a little too sweet and a little too coconut-y.

Untitled Restaurant Kuni's catering menu...great service and perfect for the memorial service we had for my Dad.

Untitled Zippy's Dream Cake...Dream cake was one of my Dad's faves...this version was kinda meh...

My brother thought the chocolate was kinda too oily...

gina’s fish jun❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #ginasbbq #marketcity #kapahulu #hawaii #supportlocal #kaimuki Gina's Fish Jun...the sauce was sweet and sour which was different from other fish jun I've had.

The taegu was overly soft and sweet too.

Will try some other sides next time.

li hing mui slurpee❤︎japan needs to serve slurpees ・ ・ ・ #7elevenday #slurpeeday #hawaii #lihingmui #conveniencestore 7-eleven has a 7-eleven day on July 11, in which they give away free small slurpees.

I had never had one, so I went to check them out...I didn't know how to operate the machine (sad, yeah?!), so I needed coaching from the masses standing in line behind me (Thank you!)

Li hing mui slurpee was super sour but tasted more like cherry...meh, but at least I got to try.

Li hing mui is a Chinese preserved plum which is similar to dried Japanese umeboshi...if you salivate when hearing either, you probably grew up in Hawaii.

Japan's 7-elevens need slurpees though...

meat jun bento❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #paalaakaiminimart #meatjun #bento #waialua #supportlocal #hawaii Meat Jun Bento from Paalaa Kai Mini Mart...only $6 and the meat is tender and flavorful.

My Aunty Merle commented that BFF Wen and I have gone here quite often this trip home...I told her that "it is closer to get to from Pearl City"...

sada’s malassadas❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #paalaakaibakery #sadasmalasadas #malasadas #malassadas #waialua #supportlocal #hawaii The malasadas from Paalaa Kai Bakery, called Sada's Malassadas...are super poofy and stay that way the next day.

The sugar melts (the next day) but the malasadas stay intact and don't smoosh like others (you know which ones), nor are they oily....love!

While others go to this bakery for their snow puffies, I have only been buying this malasada.

“rub some bacon on it”❤︎peanut butter cream + maple bacon brittle ・ ・ ・ #blacksheepcreamco #waipio #hawaii #icecream #supportlocal #maplebacon #peanutbutter Black Sheep Cream Co.'s "Rub some bacon on it"....Peanut Butter Cream and their Homemade Maple Bacon Toffee...so so good!

That is their single scoop (HUGE) and only $4.50 (tax included).

This place is hard to find...it's between SuperCuts and Subway near the Waipio Costco...no signage outside and the interior is dark, so they don't look like they are open...

Have a good week.

Restaurant Kuni
94-210 Leokane Street
Waipahu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.671.1100
Hours: Lunch 11:00-14:00, Dinner 17:00-21:00

Pearlridge Uptown
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.200.5085
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10:30-21:30, Sundays 10:30-20:00
Closed when the mall is

Black Sheep Cream Co
94-1235 Ka Uka Boulevard
Waipio, Hawaii
Phone: 808.620.7904
Hours: 10:00-21:00

Thursday, July 12, 2018

foodie june

thank you❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #tacoszarate #kahala #hawaii #zarate #fishtaco #beans #rice Earlier in mid-June, BFF Wen and I were able to get in our last Tacos Zarate fix, they closed up for good June 14, 2018.

On this particular day, I had their fish tacos, super crunchy outside and tender fish inside....will miss their food.

fish jun bento❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #fishjun #bento #palamasupermarket #waimalu #hawaii #supportlocal #생선전도시락 Fish jun bento from Palama Supermarket...enough for two meals!

I also tried the meat jun bento (no photo) and love both!

Untitled Kalapawai Cafe & Deli has a shop in Kapolei, I tried their tuna sandwich.

Lots of veggies and lots of tuna salad...and their fries are crispy...so good!

Untitled Lychee from the Big Island (Island of Hawaii) were being sold at Costco...some weren't too sweet but for the most part they were delicious.

thanks for today❤︎hoping all our family and friends in Osaka & the surrounding areas will be safe throughout all the aftershocks ・ ・ ・ #地震 #大阪 #sunset #hawaii #earthquake #osaka #japan With all the krazy vog (volcanic smog) from the Big Island, it makes for beautiful sunsets.

Untitled Tried Ruscello restaurant in Nordstrom with my aunties.

It was a day when they were going to turn off all the power in the area that my parents home is located, to do some maintenance work, so I made sure to get out of the house.

The crispy panko chicken salad was similar to mochiko chicken but crispier...delicious. (Thanks Aunty Marian for lunch!)

Untitled Pineapple Mint Iced Tea from Island Vintage Shave Ice...super refreshing on that blazing day. (Thanks Aunty Merle!)

Untitled Mango from another Aunty Vi's stash...Thank you!

mint chocolate chip❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #firstdayofsummer #summersolstice #hawaii #tillamookicecream #夏至 #mintchocolatechip #icecreamsandwich Tillamookies...Tillamook ice cream sandwiches filled with mint chocolate chip was meh...the mint seemed to be more peppermint like those hard red and white candies than spearmint.

Untitled 1st time trying the baked manapua and custard bolo bao from Honolulu Kitchen.

The baked manapua is huge and the outside is really sweet & sticky.

Custard bolo bao is similar to Japan's melon pan but softer and filled with custard.

I'm glad I tried both.

Untitled Have you tried the fried chicken from Paalaa Kai Mini Mart (next door to Paalaa Kai Bakery)?

It was my first time.

The skin is so crispy and the chicken so juicy...I dare you not to eat all the crispy skin...I couldn't stop eating it.

1 piece chicken and a musubi under $3! I now understand why all the surfers were hanging out and eating this in the parking lot.

bbq beef banh mi❤︎could’ve had more daikon carrot pickles & meat could’ve been more tender...wanna try @alohacones next ・ ・ ・ #annieskitchen808hi #dasnackshack #pearlridge #hawaii #supportlocal #banhmi #bbqbeef Da Snack Shack is a tiny food court at Pearlridge with 3 shops sharing the kitchen.

Annie's Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant is one of them.

I tried their bbq beef banh mi...too bad all their veg was cilantro and not much daikon-carrot pickles.

Also, bummer their beef wasn't tender.

(My brother tried their BBQ Pork Sandwich a couple weeks later and said it was good)

hal special❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #wandmbarbqburger #kaimuki #hawaii #halspecial #supportlocal 1st time trying HAL special from W & M Bar-B-Q...teri cheese burger topped with lettuce, tomato & onion AND slices of teri beef!

So good, dunno why I have never ordered this before...

donut king morning❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #donutkinghawaii #cakedonut #chocolate #coconut #hawaii #supportlocal #marketcity #kapahulu 1st time trying Donut King.

I tried their chocolate coconut cake doughnut...so moist!

And so cheap too, under $2.

teri beef sandwich❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #shirossaiminhaven #teribeef #waimalu #hawaii #supportlocal Teri beef sandwich from Shiro's...the beef was super tender...delicious.

mini chirashi + avocado + edamame❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #alohaconespearlridge #dasnackshack #chirashi #edamame #avocado #hawaii #pearlridge #supportlocal Been wanting to try Aloha Cones for some time, but their shop in town has parking issues, so am glad they also have this shop in that Da Snack Shack at Pearlridge.

I tried their mini chirashi and added avocado and edamame for $1 each.

The fish is so so fresh! and the edamame and avocado so generous.

Whew...a list of stuff I tried during June..some new places, some new (to me) items at familiar eateries.

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli
711 Kamokila Blvd.
Kapolei, Hawaii
Phone: 808.674.1700
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 5:00-21:30, Fridays 5:00-22:00, Saturdays 7:00-22:00, Sundays 7:00-21:30

inside of Nordstrom Ala Moana
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.953.6110
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 9:30-21:00, Sundays 11:00-19:00

Island Vintage Shave Ice
Ala Moana Shopping Center 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.942.7770
Hour: Mondays-Saturdays 9:00-21:00, Sundays 10:00-19:00

Paalaa Kai Mini Mart
66-1425 Kaukonahua Rd
Waialua, Hawaii
Phone: 808.637.9182
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: Wednesday-Saturdays & Mondays 5:00-18:00, Sundays 5:00-16:00

Da Snack Shack
Pearlridge Uptown
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.888.8668
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10:00-21:00, Sundays 10:00-18:00
Closed when the mall is

Donut King
Market City Shopping Center
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.258.4119
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 6:00-19:00, Saturdays & Sundays 6:00-17:30

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

saying goodbye

Dad 20 If you've been reading our blog, you know that my Dad passed away back in May.

I'm thankful that my brother was there with him when he passed and together with the care givers help, they all looked after him for the past 5 years.

We finally had a service over the weekend.

It was nice hearing all the different stories about parts of his life that I had not heard about before.

It was also nice to meet new people and reconnect with some, whose lives he touched.

Yesterday, we laid him to rest in the columbarium at Punchbowl (National Cemetery of the Pacific).

(I knew he was in the Army, and was a paratrooper, but didn't realize he had been in the Korean War!)

Untitled With one of his aloha shirts, I turned it into a furoshiki of sorts for his urn.

I don't know if this shirt was his favorite, but I noticed he was wearing it in a lot of pictures.

My Dad was a quiet man, never very chatty.

But, when he did say something, it usually made an impact and/or it made everyone laugh because you knew "he was really listening to our conversations"...

Two things that he said to me, still stick out in my mind...

"All the makeup in the world won't make you beautiful. You have to be beautiful inside."

"If your room is clean, happiness will come."

My father worked for the City's Parks & Recreation Department.

He refereed many basketball games and (I thought) his most busiest job was during the summers when he oversaw the Summer Fun Program.

The Summer Fun Program was a city-run free program (I think now there might be a small fee...does the program still exist?!) where elementary kids could go during the weekdays of summer vacation while their parents went to work (and hopefully keep them out of trouble), and where college students could practice their teaching skills in hopes of becoming teachers.

Another thing my father did was teach After School Classes (something to also keep elementary kids "busy" after school) during the school year...I learned many things from him through these classes like how to play the ukulele, archery, tumbling and embroidery to name a few.

He was active in sports...hand ball, racket ball, tennis, softball, golf (he had two hole in ones on the same hole on the same golf course but in different years!)...and he ran several marathons and many fun runs.

He loved puzzles and crafts.

He also loved music...studying shakuhachi, taisho koto, playing the piano, ukulele and guitar (I also learned the harmonica from him.).

Growing up, whenever he would go out, I would "wait up for him" to come home, of course, I'd usually end up falling asleep and he'd have to carry me to my room, but still...and when I started going out, he almost always waited up for me until I came home.

My first time trying coffee, he sweetened it up with lots of milk and sugar...

And to deter me from smoking, he let me take a puff of his cigar *cough*

One of the many things he taught me was how to smile...but, was super bad at teaching me how to drive (I can still hear him yelling, "brake brake!")...

And when he had depression, he confided in me and I'm glad he was able to get some help.

I'm not too sure when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's, but watching him stop driving, golf, pretty much all the things that used to keep him busy/mobile was tough.

Where he was never verbally picky about things, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) seemed more pronounced, and verbalized.

And when they put in the G-tube (gastrostomy tube), I think it put a damper on his eating.

Untitled It is hard to believe he isn't physically here, but I know he is still around.

Untitled (especially with all the rainbows we saw over the weekend and also those huge moths that I believe mean someone who has passed is visiting you.)

Thanks Dad for everything.

I know you told me once that you weren't good enough as a Dad and that you didn't do anything for us, at the time I told you that I thought you were a good Dad, doing your best for us, I still believe that.

Where ever you are, I hope you are eating whatever you want and running/walking around.

Love you.

Thank you to all of you who reached out to us, sending us good vibes, messages and just being there, we really appreciate your kindness.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

oh em gee

banpaku7178 You may have heard that a huge earthquake hit Osaka and the surrounding areas.

Apparently it was a 6, strong enough that you probably wouldn't be able to stand...eep!

The area where we used to live, Minoo, was in that 6 range as well as Takatsuki where we lived pre-blog.

My friend, Hiromi who lives in Ikeda, said that it was so scary.

I can't imagine what it was like.

Luckily, MIL was okay and everyone I messaged said they were okay too.

So many volcanoes on the "Ring of Fire" erupting and shaking these days.

Stay safe and be well everyone.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


gmh3 Thought I should update you as to what is happening "in real life"...

My passport took 2 weeks to get renewed (just as they had estimated).

Apparently, they don't expedite them for a fee like they do in the States, but are apparently faster (and apparently are more expensive) than the States.

On the day of my appointment, they took me earlier than my appointment time and I thought it was all pretty speedy.

After receiving my passport, I looked online for flights...

I really wanted to fly out from Haneda (because we only live 30 minutes away by train).

I usually fly JAL but apparently the only flights JAL has flying out of Haneda are code-shared with Hawaiian (using Hawaiian's planes).

The flights are about $200 (both ways) more than flying out from Narita and are really late at night.

I've also heard mixed reviews about flying Hawaiian...so even if Narita is out of the way for me, I decided to fly out from Narita.

peach season❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #白鳳 #桃 #山梨産 #東京 #hakuho #peach #yamanashi #tokyo #japan In the past couple of weeks, we got to eat some peaches.

This particular variety from Yamanashi prefecture is called Hakuho and was a little more "perfume-y" than varieties we've had over the years.

As always, the skins just peel off because they are perfectly ripe.

sakuranbo❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #さくらんぼ #山形産 #東京 #果物 #sakuranbo #yamagata #tokyo #japan #fruit We also got to eat some sakuranbo from Yamagata prefecture.

I have never had "sweet" sakuranbo.

Maybe I don't know how to choose them or maybe they are supposed to be sour-ish, but the ones I've picked out are always tart.

beets❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #ビーツ #千葉産 #くくりの森 #東京 #beets #chiba #kukurinomori #tokyo #japan I am pretty sure the Japanese do not realize the goodness of beets (yet), these beauties were in the "old veggie" area of the market...only 398 yen (plus tax)...so cheap and so big!

Oh and my dental issues which started back in April...are still not resolved and will be taking a "summer vacation", while I am in Hawaii...

In fact, I should already be in Hawaii when this posts.

While in Hawaii, we'll be having a service for my father and settling his estate.

It may be quiet here, just thought I should let you know.

Be well and talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

verve coffee

kaffe tonic❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #カフェトニック #vervecoffee #新宿 #kaffetonic #shinjuku #tokyo #japan I am not sure how I heard about Verve Coffee, a coffee shop from Santa Cruz, California.

When I went to Shinjuku the other day, I stumbled upon their shop and tried their Kaffe Tonic...espresso that has tonic water added.

A bit pricey at 650 yen (plus tax), this was delicious and perfect for the humidity.

I'll be back when I am in the area.

Verve Coffee
Shinjuku Station
Phone: 03.6273.1325
Hours: Weekdays 7:00-22:00, Saturdays & Sundays 7:00-21:00