Saturday, September 28, 2013

we're 8

This blog turns 8 fast, yeah?!

I really want to thank you, the reader.

Without your comments and input, I don't know that I would've kept this blog going for as long as I have.

Though things have been a bit rough these days, I look forward to the good days.

Thank you for your friendships.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


When you wake up, do you use the "snooze" button?

In Japan, I usually wake up before my alarm goes off, so I've never used the snooze.

...until this trip back home.

Nowadays, my alarm goes off at 5:30 so I hit the snooze once and then wake up at 5:39...why the snooze is only 9 minutes and not 10, I don't know.

I can tell you that somedays the 9 minutes really flies by...

Do you hit the snooze button? How many times?

Monday, September 23, 2013

49 day service

Yesterday, we had my Mom's 49-day service.

I've written about 49-day service in the past, here, but there wasn't much detail about why it is done.

In Buddhism, 49 days is referred to as "Chuin", which means neither the present world nor the the middle.

Apparently, after a person dies, their karmic energy is held in limbo for 49 days before taking another form.

So, observances every 7 days until the 49-day service are made in hopes to help the deceased receive a higher rebirth.

In Hawaii, most families who are Buddhist hold 7-day and 49-day services.

Unfortunately, we skipped the 7-day service...sorry Mom!

I hope by having the 49-day service, my Mom will be able to move on to the next world.

Friday, September 20, 2013

meal club

Foodland has a meal 5 "meals" (sandwiches, salads, bento, etc.) and when the card is filled up, you get a free meal.

So, for my free meal, I tried their garlic chicken plate.

Meh...too salty. It wouldn't have been bad with just the shoyu garlic sauce, but they went and salted the fried chicken before dipping it into the sauce.

I'm not sure I would get their plate lunch again, but I really do like their other "meals".

p.s. you know that typhoon that hit Japan recently, Man-yi, it hit Kyoto, so I called MIL twice with no answer. I then emailed BIL and he said they were okay..whew!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

down to earth

Met up with my friend, Rex at Down to Earth for lunch, after running an errand.

Take a plate and fill it up with hot and cold items then get it weighed.

I chose their curry fried rice and some cold salad items.

I really enjoyed their food. I think most items are vegetarian, and even if I'm not, I thought that their food was tasty and well flavored.

I also tried their chocolate chip cookie, really chewy and loaded with chocolate chips and walnuts.

It was nice talking story with Rex and I'm glad we got to have lunch together.

Thanks Rex!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

thank you

The house next to my parent's house has a huge avocado tree.

It was planted by the previous owner's mom over 20 years ago from 1 seed.

That tree is now 15 to 20 feet tall.

Some of the fruit are so high up that most times, they ripen and come crashing down, bombing everything below.

Over the years, the avocados have gotten considerably smaller, but, they are still bigger than anything any supermarket sells.

They are super creamy and best of all, free.

Thanks K & B for letting us pick them!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

foodie thursday

I'm really lucky to have a BFF that is willing to take a day off to spend some time with me. (Thanks BFF!)

Our adventure started off with donating some things to the American Cancer Society.

As I was cleaning up some of my mom's things, I noticed that she had two new bottles of wig shampoo/conditioner and a new wig brush...I hope someone else will be able to use them.

From there we went up the, it had been ages since I took Pali Highway...

And landed in Kailua.

This town is bustling with a lot of new shopping areas and eateries.

We went to check out Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop. 1 malasada each, not blazing burn your mouth hot but just right...each 90 cents plus tax.

We agreed, not as good as Champions, and for the price they are kinda teeny, but, we enjoyed the crispy outsides and airy insides. (I'm pretty sure these were the same malasadas I tried at the Portuguese Festa earlier this year too.)

After our snack, we checked out Whole Foods, I liked that this location wasn't as crazy crowded as the one in Kahala.

Then we headed out to Waimanalo for lunch...Sweet Home Waimanalo.

This place was featured on a national food show and was noted for their tofu black bean burger and brisket.

BFF tried their tofu black bean burger with bok choy slaw.

She really enjoyed their slaw and their "burger" had a nice smoky bbq taste to it. (She let me taste part of her burger)

I was kinda impressed she chose this because she usually takes out most of her veggies and puts them on the side whenever we eat out...

And I went with their local beet salad...beets, baby greens, feta cheese, cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, garlicky croutons and a honey citrus vinaigrette...$8.95 + tax

I liked the sweet-salty-puckery combination of this salad.

For drinks, we both opted for their complimentary water with lemon which is located outside near the tables.

They need a little more parking (we had to park along a side street), but we agreed their food was good.

After lunch we headed back to our neck of the woods and walked around Target.

Most times when we go to Target we never buy anything, but this time around we found this...

Crunchy Biscoff Spread! I had seen this on the internet and knew that it had existed but had never found it in Hawaii.

The shelf was almost bare too (no wonder they had a sign with a limit on how many bottles you could purchase...)

As we were heading back to the car, BFF mentioned that someone in her office had found some guri-guri (a kind of sherbert popular in Maui) in Aiea and that they serve it like soft serve.

So we stopped at Samurai and had some of their swirled "soft serve" guri-guri. (I think they said the flavors were strawberry & vanilla?!)

It was so humid and hot so this really hit the spot. (Thanks BFF!)

Afterwards, we swung by Cookie Corner so that I could pick up 2 oatmeal chocolate chip with walnuts for my breakfast over the weekend.

I've been hooked on their cookies, especially for breakfast, with some coffee...they're kinda nutritious right?!

And then when I dropped BFF off, she gave me some of her mom's banana bread (with mac nuts) good! (buttery with just the right amount of banana and nuts)

It was a nice foodie day, I'm glad the weather was cooperative for the most part. But best of all, I'm glad I got to spend some time with my BFF. (Thanks again BFF!)

Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop (UPDATE: 2018 no longer in business)
46 Hoolai Street
Kailua, Hawaii
Phone: 808.262.5367
Closed Mondays

Sweet Home Waimanalo (UPDATE: 2016 no longer in business)
41-1025 Kalanianaole Highway
Waimanalo, Hawaii
Phone: 808.259.5737

99-115 Aiea Heights (Aiea Shopping Center, ground floor)
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.484.2200
Closed Mondays

Friday, September 13, 2013


I am always interested in learing a new language and brushing up on those I know too.

I read somewhere that Mindsnacks was a great app.

So, I uploaded Mindsnacks French for free, it comes with a free lesson, but for $4.99 + tax you can receive all 50 lessons, so I bought it.

Then, they went and had a sale on all their language apps for a one time price of $17.99 + I got all the ones on sale.

The lessons are in the form of games, most resemble flash cards, but it does keep your mind active and challenged.

So far, I've worked through French and am working through Japanese.

I've also tried a lesson in Mandarin and it is killer!

If you try them, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Recently tried these yogurts by Müller, a German maker that is marketing in the US through Quaker.

Both were on the sweeter side, I prefer my yogurt plain and unsweetened.

Out of the two, I enjoyed the greek version with caramelized almonds.

Not sure I would buy them again, but I'm glad I got to try them.

Friday, September 06, 2013

tsuki meinichi

Tsuki meinichi is the word in Japanese used when referring to the monthly observance of a death.

Today in Hawaii, the 5th, is my mom's tsuki meinichi.

Missing you Mom.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

big kahuna pizza

Back in July, BFF and I had wanted to eat at Big Kahuna Pizza but were disappointed by their lack of organization.

Luckily, the other day, they were open and ready for business.

We got there just before the lunch crowd.

BFF had their Sumo Special while I had their grilled eggplant pizza.

Grilled eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, roasted red bell pepper, garlic and 5 kinds of cheese...I think they forgot the red bell pepper, and the crust was quite burnt.

Still, this pizza was delicious because of the sweet tangy mustard vinaigrette drizzled on top.

Oh and they gave us warm cookies though we'll forgive you for putting white chocolate chips in them (not a fan!)

We'll be back.

Monday, September 02, 2013


In Hawaiian, maika'i means "good".

I recently came upon these eco-bags in Foodland.

I like that these are made of fabric and that they are washable.

Previously I bought their oil cloth type bags, which I wrote up here.

They are a bit pricey at $9.99 + tax, but, with your Maika'i card (Foodland's point card), you'll get a $1 off.

Maika'i (good) things all around.

Have a nice week.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

sing cheong yuan bakery

Last week, I had an errand to run near Chinatown, so I decided to check out Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery.

I think this is the place my Aunty picked up the toong mai we tried earlier this year.

The reason I wanted to check out this place was because I was interested in trying their char siu jin dui.

I don't quite remember where I had heard about this, but it was intriguing to me because most jin dui I've tried was sweet not savory.

I bought 2 char siu jin dui and 2 ma tai soo. ($1-something each)

The size of these jin dui were impressive.

Upon cutting it though...big disappointment.

Little to no filling at rip off.

On top of that these were really REALLY oily...blah!

The ma tai soo on the other hand were packed to the gills!

Ma tai soo is a savory pie crust manju if you will, filled with water chestnuts, char siu, green onion and other savories.

The outside was really flaky and the filling with it being a little on the sweet side was delicious.

I also bought some peanut candy.

This was really good, nice crunch from the peanuts, and it was chewy but it didn't stick to your teeth. ($.60/piece, I think)

And their egg tarts were fantastic.

I especially liked their flaky crust. ($1-something)

Other than that jin dui, I would definitely go back for other items.

I'll be back.

Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery
1027 Maunakea Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Phone: 808.531.6688
Open 6:30-17:30 daily