Babymoon in Maui + Paia and Makawao

Chris and I just got back from a babymoon in Maui. Ah, it is so nice to be home, but ah, it was just so nice to be away.

The last time we were on that island, we were on our honeymoon 12 years ago. We found quite a few new areas that we fell in love with this time and asked ourselves why did we not find them before? Ah, yes, the Internet. After Chris and I ran off to Kauai all those years ago and got married on a beach, we spent a few hours posting photos from our wedding in Kauai to our website for friends and family to see. We remembered how slow it was and how long it took over what was not called dial-up but should have been, and how expensive it was because we were paying by the minute. Since the Internet was not a big thing in all Hawaii resorts at the time, we were at the mercy of guidebooks, maps, and word of mouth.

This time we had word of mouth from friends that frequent Maui often AND the Internet. We found two little towns on the road to Hana that were perfect for us. No, we did not drive the road all the way to Hana. I am not sure I could have handled it with how many times I have to pee per hour, and sometimes the winding turns makes my big belly a bit queasy. 12 years ago we never explored the east side of the island (only the west and south parts). This time we found: Paia and Makawao.

Paia is on the way to Hana and is on the Hana Highway. It is right on the water and the beaches that neighbor this small strip of a town are ones that in the winter have the massive waves that attract surfers from all over. So Paia could be called a surfer town, but without all the cheese and touristy feel of say a Lahaina (sorry for those of you Maui buffs that love Lahaina). It is an old sugar plantation town. I kept trying to rack my brain for what Paia felt like to me. It was like an Ojai, California in Hawaii with more shops and restaurants. It felt natural and real without the pretentiousness of the shops in Wailea that bring those from the neighboring Four Seasons resort. It inspired my senses and creativity.

Then we drove down Baldwin Ave to Makawao. I had heard about Makawao because of the famous “malasadas” known mostly in Honolulu at Leonard’s Bakery. Since we were not going to Honolulu, I wanted to try what I could in Maui. A little Internet research told me that T Komoda Bakery was one of the places to go to try their version. So of course I wanted to continue south on Baldwin to explore Makawao and get a malasada. I found another interesting little town, inland, but just as charming. Almost as though you were going to be in wine country, only you are actually in cattle country. Galleries, boutiques, and restaurants down another cute strip.

Oh, and guess what? T Komoda Bakery was on vacation from the day we arrived for 3 weeks. So no malasadas, but we found two great towns that will be on the list the next time we are back in Maui. And yes we still got malasadas – thank you to Home Maid Bakery. They do not start making their evening batch until 4 pm, and on our way back from Paia and Makawao were an hour early and they still made us a dozen!

I am glad to be home in my bed, but I do already miss paradise and my daily dose of shave ice!

Amazing typewriter artist

Over the weekend, Chris and I were out and about running errands in downtown Portland. I needed to pick up an item at a local boutique and while waiting to pay we look up and saw an amazing piece of artwork on the wall. While the piece itself may not be something I would put on my wall, I was fascinated and in awe of how the artist creates her art.

Rachel Mulder is a local Portland artist. What sets her apart from other artists? She creates her pieces on a typewriter. The darker areas are made by continuous strikes on the typewriter. As you can see by the screen grab I took from her website, there is an amazing amount of texture, color, and shading and to think it was all done via a typewriter.

I am always amazed and impressed when an artist does something so different and awe-inspiring. While I may not necessarily want this woman specifically on my wall it makes me want to think outside the box and find new ways of looking at the world. Who knew you could make such a rich piece by spending hours at a typewriter? I had to stand and stare at it for quite a while. It is worth taking a look at the link to her website above. (My screen grab is just a portion of the woman).

I would love to purchase a smaller installation of her artwork (the piece in this boutique was quite larger, but worth every penny). It makes me think about all the other creative and simple ways that we can make art. Her way is genius, and I love the energy and creativity it added to my day, and made me want to come home and paint. I did not, as the day ended up being full of catching up on life, but that desire is still fueling inside of me. I bet Rachel goes through quite a few typewriter ribbon tapes. Remember those things?

Here is to finding fun, new, and creative ways to express ourselves!

RAK Friday

One of my least favorite days of the year is Black Friday. I abhor shopping on that day. This year there is an art bazaar that I would like to go to in order to support local artists. If I happen to be in downtown Portland, our local boutiques and small businesses participate in Little Boxes, a way for the community to support local businesses. That would be the only adventure I would have with shopping. Even having said that, I still do not have any interest.

I do not understand the desire for stores to be open (and for folks to be out shopping) on Thanksgiving Day. Why oh why? Our nearby outlet mall will be open from 6 pm to midnight on Thursday, November 27, and then is open from midnight to 10 pm on Friday, November 28. Which basically means they will be open from 6 pm on Thursday to 10 pm on Friday. WHY?

This is why I loved hearing about “RAK Friday” (Random Act of Kindness Friday) intended for Black Friday. Friends started a Facebook page and also has their three kids in on the action. What a wonderful idea to think about celebrating Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude and rolling into Black Friday doing things for others, instead of buying “things.” What if we were able to change Black Friday into RAK Friday? What a difference it would make in this world of consumerism and commercial spending.

So here is my question for you, what should I do on RAK Friday here in Portland? And, for those of you that might be reading this while waiting in line at the mall, what RAK are you going to do for someone today?


“Secret Single Behavior”

A co-worker shared with a few of us yesterday that one of her favorite things to do when her fiance is off doing his own thing, is what she called her: “Secret Single Behavior.” It is taken from an episode of Sex and the City (Season 4, Episode 13: The Good Fight), and well it just made me grin from ear-to-ear today. I am not going to go into her own “Secret Single Behavior” but it made me think – what is mine? It sort of baffles me to even find an answer. Maybe that means I have been married too long. I thought about it a few times yesterday and even asked Chris. Here is my potential list:

_Go to a cafe on a Saturday or Sunday, order breakfast, coffee, bring my laptop, book, and journal and see where my heart takes me. Either read, write, or explore wherever my fingers take me on the Internet. I can stay as long as I like and not have to worry about someone waiting for me.

_Boutique hopping? Go to boutiques I have not been to in a while, get inspired by designers + artists and see where the inspiration takes me.

_Stay in my pajamas, go into my studio (empty bedroom) and paint until I lose track of time.

_Catch up with friends I have not seen in a while (whether in person, email, or over the phone).

_Organize my life in every way possible.

_Sometimes when Chris is gone for a week or so, I will go to the store and get food that he hates to eat. Selections have been: yogurt covered pretzels, popcorn, snickerdoodles. Ah, strange guilty pleasures.

So do you have them? Do you have “Secret Single Behaviors?” If so, what are they?

A weekend of favorite things…

Happy Friday! So it is ALMOST the weekend. What do you have planned? I am looking forward to the weekend, to relaxing, spending time with my hubby, sleeping, some good food, and getting caught up on a few things. I recently blogged about the book: “All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending” by Laura Vanderkam. She talks about how we can have better weekends with just a bit of planning. Some weekends could be on the frugal side and some weekends we could splurge a bit. What would your ideal weekend look like? Here is an excerpt on this topic in her book:

“What would it be like to fill a day, or even better, a whole weekend, with one’s favorite things? How would one do that? What are those favorite things? And most important for the sake of this book, what would that cost?” page 109-110

So my ideal “frugal” weekend with my favorite things: It would start with sleeping in, then getting my run in, showering and heading into Portland for a yummy breakfast. If I were to pick my favorite place in Portland for breakfast it would be VQ (Veritable Quandary). Afterwards, going with my hubby to explore new boutiques in town. Exploring new boutiques gets my creative juices flowing and inspires and encourages me to look at design, patterns, colors, and then when I come home I want to paint, write, and explore what has interested me on our boutique adventures. In the evening, I would want to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. Just a top of mind ideal weekend.

I thought I would also share a few photos that we found while out exploring recently. This we found in Santa Barbara, California. It is a fun way to grow plants, using an old or used wine rack.

planter idea in Santa Barbara

This chair (I cannot imagine how much it weighs) we found at Anthropologie. I love it. Not at all comfortable, but just a clever design using old radiators!

chair in Anthropologie

What would your ideal weekend look like?

Happy weekend to you – hope you have some sun!