Blissful Cup: Coffee Bike

Serving up coffee from East Hawaii, plus specialty drinks

Blissful Cup is a coffee bike that currently serves the Moiliili area on weekends. They have made some edits to their menu since I last enjoyed their drinks. I ordered a blue matcha latte with Oatly oat milk. I also got an elderberry lemonade for my friend, who really enjoyed it.

Thank you, Blissful!

Big Island of Hawaii: Eastern Neighborhoods

A mover’s guide

Pahoa, August 2019

I’m thinking about moving to the Big Island. Growing up on Oʻahu, I only ever visited Kilauea Military Camp with school. The memory I have is that during senior camp, we actually got a little lost while hiking.

Volcanoes is my aunt & uncle’s favorite national park (they’ve been to pretty much all of them!). I really expect the areas surrounding our national parks to become very robust in the future, as Americans have fallen back in love with the simple, wholesome, and wonderful things in life. Additionally, it is possible that this sphere will receive focus from the hospitality industry in a Disney-like way.

It was only when I traveled to the island on my own that I realized how much I liked it. It was the perfect place and had managed to remain untouched, with choice selection of course. I decided that I wanted to move there after graduating from law school. Luckily, the perfect job presented itself out of Hilo (the best!) and I was able to enjoy myself.

With many people moving out of metropolitan areas, and a general shift to working online — from anywhere, areas like this are perfect for enjoying the space and natural resources our country has to offer.

Schools

On the island, there are public schools — but even those may be quite far from your home. If you are looking for a college preparatory school, HPA is located in the Waimea area, on the north side of the island. Dorms are available there. For K-8, there is also a charter school for the arts & sciences in Volcano.

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will also emerge as a community leader that will provide income to the area. The cute Downtown area has a new multimodal plan that will make the area conducive for a walkable college community. Summer School University?

Kalapana

For: hippie by the sea

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Google Maps

Located 20 minutes south of Pāhoa and about an hour away from Hilo, Kalapana is a fabulous jungle by the sea. Filled with hippies (not hipsters), as well as those who appreciate off-grid living, the energy here is vibrant and colorful. During normal times, they offer a weekly gathering that features music, an active dance floor, local artisans, vendors, and food. Hundreds of community members get together to fellowship, share the fruits of their labor, and welcome visitors. There, I ran into a coworker, bought some jewelry, and enjoyed the band.

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Overlooking Kehena Black Sand Beach

The homes in this area range quite a bit. Note that this area is very close to where the 2018 eruption occurred.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FmkeZtXGa6Hg%3Fstart%3D1%26feature%3Doembed%26start%3D1&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DmkeZtXGa6Hg&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FmkeZtXGa6Hg%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Right now, there is no cell service in Kalapana. It’s definitely something to consider, especially if you need internet to work. At Pele’s Kitchen — the best breakfast spot I have ever been to — you can use a hotspot with no problem. Walking around Pāhoa town is one of my favorite things to do — check out the Pahoa Village Museum, boutiques, and restaurants. They’re all really good. The area has developed rapidly in the last year, with the building of another grocery store, UPS, and more eateries.

Hawaiian Paradise Park is an area with lots of new builds on an acre. Other areas have smaller lots with shared catchment systems. It also has cell phone service and is less than 30 minutes from Hilo. The Keaau area, where Kamehameha Schools is located, allows access to both sides of Volcanoes National Park and features proximity to Hilo.

Look for: neighbors

Kaʻū

For: quiet companion

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Google Maps

This district has a special place in my heart. My family worked on the sugar plantations here generations ago. Now, the area is being redeveloped into a wellness centre. Unlike other more remote areas of the east side, because of its rich plantation history, the area receives county water through established infrastructure. This will allow you to avoid having a catchment tank on property and will let you enjoy fresh and clean water.

Here’s my vlog from the area:https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FXNc_Q-1szaM%3Fstart%3D270%26feature%3Doembed%26start%3D270&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DXNc_Q-1szaM&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FXNc_Q-1szaM%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Located southwest of the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, this area is in the higher volcano zones. Instead of being in the rainforest, it’s more of a prairie. My favorite part about the Big Island is its diverse set of climate zones and the diversity that presents for exploring.

This area is now filled with macadamia nut and coffee orchards. There is a coffee roasting centre, a CVS (in the state, called Long’s), and a Bank of Hawaii. A little down the road is Nāʻālehu (also where my family is from). There, they host a rodeo in the summers, they have the southern-most everything, and have some food options.

Look for: terrain

Honomu

For: Welcome Team

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Google Maps

One of my favorite attractions on the island is the Honomu Goat Dairy, which is located on the way to Akaka Falls State Park. They have a petting area and a storefront where you can purchase soaps and lotions, cheese, and more. When I was there, my mom bought me My Year in a Yurtwhich is about a couple who moves to the Big Island during the Financial Crisis. The Big Island has seen an increase in population, as opposed to the rest of the Hawaiian islands. This is largely due to the availability of land.

Look for: a story

Volcano

For: inspired artisan

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Google Maps

The Volcano area highlights access to the national parkart classes, and songbirds. It’s my favorite area, with high elevation and cool temperatures — it’s just a 30-minute drive to Hilo. With the basic eateries, a gas station, and numerous bed & breakfasts, it has the essentials nearby.

The view of the sky is spectacular on clear nights. You can bike Mauna Loa, hike Kīlauea Iki, or snorkel in town. There is land to build a sustainable home with solar panels and a water catchment system.

Look for: mature fruit trees

*insert note that this is opinion & not professional advice*

Mental Health Awareness Day

Supporting each other is vital to creating the understanding world we need…

Portlock, Hawaii

Despite all of the negative ramifications of the coronavirus, one thing that I’m thankful for is the amount of awareness being raised surrounding mental health.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

One can experience difficulties with their mental health that would cause their thinking, mood, and behavior to be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

For those who need it, help is available. Full recovery is possible!

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.

Mental Wellness

Achieving and maintaining positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, to cope with the stresses of life, to work productively, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Ways to maintain mental wellness include: getting professional help when needed, connecting with others, staying positive, being physically active, helping others, getting good sleep, and developing coping skills.

Our individual wellbeing contributes to the health of our families and communities. It is up to us to support one another and to help those who are struggling.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255.

Mental wellness is especially important to me, as I have been on my healing journey for over five years. Through my experiences, I have learned that the best approach is one that is preventative, holistic, and accountable. Some of my favorite ways to care for my mental health are: going on a walk, enjoying the beauty of nature, and prayer.

How do you prioritize your mental wellness?

Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe

I’m so blessed to enjoy an organic meal in the back of Lualualei Homestead on the west side of Oahu. I had a nice snorkel at Makua Beach in Makaha and decided to stop by Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe on the way back. For lunch, I ordered mac nut pesto pasta with mahi mahi and a side salad. I wasn’t that hungry so I only had one mahi (House Bunny).

Kahumana’s cafe is open Monday thru Friday, and they host a farmers market on Tuesday and Saturday.

There is just something about farm life that is so peaceful and serene. My great-great-grandparents were farmers in Aina Haina and in Pahala. Sometimes I feel that I’m supposed to be a farm girl, myself!

Follow the farm on Instagram for updates…

Vibe Lab Hawaii

In the studio with Doctor Lavender

Yesterday, Mark showed me his studio for the first time and we started working on creating a song that will rock your socks off! I’m super proud of my DJ / producer friend who is about to start his own label here in Hawaii.

Stay tuned for our song! Also, Charles is Doctor Lav’s fur baby of four months. Isn’t he sweet?

Pahipahi ālua

It’s still beach weather in Hawaii

en bloom

Sometimes I consider myself a late bloomer. I’m 25 years old and am still coming into who I am as a person. I kind of feel like this beautiful yellow hibiscus growing beachside. I’m opening up, but am not quite at my fullest yet.

Details:

Hat from Pailolo Bar & Grill at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas

Top from Billabong

Field Trip to Kalihi Ice Ponds

Photos from the journey & breakup tips

Kalihi Ice Ponds

I’m so grateful that my two sisters got me out of the house to gallivant through nature today! This short hike in Kalihi Valley has multiple waterfalls and has beautiful scenery throughout.

I feel blessed to have met amazing people in law school who are able to lift me up when I’m feeling down. Whenever any of us are going through a breakup, we are always there for each other.

What to do after a breakup…

1) Focus on self-care

Being in a relationship can detract our attention from caring for ourselves. Especially if you have been arguing or stressed, focusing on doing things that you enjoy and that refill your cup is so important. Know that you are able to give more when you are in a good place.

2) Get into nature

Nature has extremely healing properties. Seeing nothing but God’s creation restores us and can bring us the peace that we so crave in the midst of this world. See different scenery: enjoy the scent of flowers, look around at the tress, and listen to the sounds of our neighbors.

3) Renew your relationship with God

Anytime you are in an intoxicating relationship, it’s easy to move away from God. 1 Corinthians 7 reminds us that our true connection is with God, and that we should focus on pleasing Him first. It’s easy to lose yourself in a relationship, but luckily God is always waiting to welcome us back to the fold.

The Power of Fellowship

Wherever two or three gather…

Being that I still consider myself a new believer, fellowship has been difficult for me to establish. I visit numerous churches and haven’t joined a small group. My sister in Christ, Nicole, who I actually knew before coming back to the fold, was recently telling me about how she was looking to be more involved in the church, as well.

For those who are shy, or just not ready to take things to the next level, finding just one friend at church can make a huge difference. You’ll have someone to sit next to during service, and you can stay updated on each other’s lives.

The text pictured above is one illustration of how this relationship has been such a light to my life. Before I decided to give my life to God, I really didn’t have any people I could talk to about spirituality. The majority of my friendships in law school were centered around partying and that was my world. Luckily, God brings just the right people into your life- just when you need them.

Who’s in your corner? During some of the lowest points in my life, I felt that I had no support. However, feeling alone in this world allows you to truly be the most secure through fully leaning on the power of God. The thing about the Lord is that He is always in your corner – and, He is all powerful and has already won the war!

Who’s in your circle? Do the people around you inspire you, want the best for you, and uplift you? Or do you have a cage, instead?

Who’s in your heart? Having Jesus in your heart can truly bring you peace like no other. If you care a lot about others, that’s fine- so long as God remains #1.

Accountability is my personal favorite thing about fellowship, as I need it more than most. Having others to hold me to my beliefs, to help me when I’m feeling down, and to walk with me through different chapters is a huge blessing. I hope you are all able to connect and fellowship during this time.

For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.

Matthew 18:20