Take Me Back…

2 weeks ago I was packing our bags for our first family vacation trip overseas – and when I say overseas I mean Hawaii 😂. And for those of you who know me or who have been familiar with my blog and/or my story, you know that Hawaii is home to me. 

I haven’t been back home to visit in a long time. The last time I stepped foot on that island was for my sister’s wedding. I hate that I can’t visit as often as I’d like. But after having Ella, I realized that going home to visit can’t be postponed any longer. 

So on June 30th, we made that 6 hour long journey to Hawaii via Virgin America. First airplane flight for my little miss Ella who, by the way, just turned 1! 


And boy was I a nervous wreck up until the moment our plane took off. Anyway, I guess it wasn’t even worth the stress because that baby of mine was the happiest, easiest, most friendliest baby during the flight there (and back!). We even received compliments from other passengers on-board! 

We were only vacationing there for a week. Totally should have stayed at least 2 weeks, but don’t even get me started on that. I am already regretting that I didn’t think twice before booking our tickets. The week we were there flew by so quickly and at the end of it all, I was already homesick before we had even left. It would have been nice to have had the chance to spend a little more time with my mom and siblings and nieces and nephews. And it would have been even more awesome if my family could have spent more time getting to know our newest member of the bunch. 

Still… We managed to do a lot in just a week. 

1. We celebrated Ella’s 1st Birthday.

2. We went to the beach…

3. We traveled all the way to the North Shore to have some shave ice (and had lunch at a restaurant called Uncle Bo’s and walked around playing tourist)


4. We went on a hike and got to watch the sunset…



5. And just spent a lot of time laughing, eating, and making memories with my family.

And had we stayed an extra week, guess what we would have been doing? We’d be catching those darn Pokemons! 😂 I swear my family purposefully waited till we left to do all the fun stuff. 

Yeah… I can’t wait to go back. And next time I will stay for 2 weeks. 

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My Sissy’s Big Day

My sister could not have picked a more perfect day to have a wedding. After having slept only 6 hours the night before, we woke up to the most beautiful view. I’m talkin’ clear skies, beautiful blue waters, the smell of love in the air! Perfect, perfect, PERFECT!!!!

We spent the night in the soon-to-be newlyweds’ suite at the JW Marriot Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko’olina, one of the most luxurious hotels on the island.

That morning, my sister and I stood on the balcony enjoying a little sister time. We looked over to see if we could see the ceremony site from the balcony and lo and behold what do we see? The chairs had already been set up for the ceremony!

That did it. That made it real. That totally triggered the excitement of the day.

Can you tell? She’s practically glowing! Yeah and that’s how I look without make-up. Pay no attention to me. 😛

After checking out the view, this was delivered to our room. Thank God for groomsmen! Bronson Chun (my partner in this wedding) was nice enough to bring us some coffee!!!

The calm and quiet morning ended at 9:30a. The wedding planner arrived to check up on us and fill us in on what was going on. Shortly after, my sister’s hairdresser May Ramilo arrived to do our hair and make-up.

My sister amazed me. She was completely calm and composed throughout the entire process. No sign of Bridezilla anywhere. She did a great job putting together a team of vendors that worked well together to make this such a successful event. And not to mention the awesome bridal party! Her bridesmaids (myself included) did everything they could to keep my sister from stressing and worrying about all the things that could go wrong.

After we were all dolled up, it was time for pictures!  Here’s just one pic of us girls.

The special moments from this day were captured by the great photographers of Renai Photography (http://www.renaiphoto.com/).

And then it was SHOW TIME! Okay, so I don’t have a lot of pictures of the ceremony itself because I was IN the wedding. But here is what I was able to gather from people I know sittin’ in the audience.

Besides witnessing the lifelong commitment made between 2 special people in my life, I would have to say the best part about this whole wedding, was being part of the wedding party. I had THE best time hangin’ out with the girls. I’ve never actually hung out with them because they are my sister’s friends. But after only a couple of days with them, they’ve become like sisters to me. I’m so glad my sister has them in her life. And the guys are such sweethearts, too! True gentlemen AND funny! Yes, indeed, we had a blast.

Wedding Rehearsal

It was one of the most beautiful weddings ever. At least of all the ones I’ve ever attended. I loved being a part of it. I was honored to have been one of the 3 lucky women to stand beside my sister on such a special day. And yes there were times where I wanted to bawl because I realized my sister was all grown up. I almost lost it when I helped her put on her wedding dress. I thought I was going to ruin my make-up. And let’s not forget about the speeches! I cried…and made others cry, too. Never fails. What can I say? I love my sister. 🙂

Anyway, I will leave you with these pictures and a same-day edit of the ceremony which, by the way, I can’t get enough of. Enjoy!!!

And here it is…

the same day edit

By 10th Letter Media

Girls’ Night Out – Apartm3nt – May 4, 2012

The much anticipated event of the year! Okay, maybe not the most anticipated…but it’s pretty close! Especially since I was under a lot of pressure to make this night one of the best nights to remember. And planning it from 2500 miles away wasn’t an easy task. Finding the right place to host the event was a task in itself. I don’t live in Hawaii anymore. Which means I’m no longer familiar with the nightlife. So yeah, I kinda stressed out a little bit. Yup, you guessed it. My duty as one of the matrons of honor was to plan and execute the Bachelorette Party. I wanted nothing but the best for my favorite sister in the whole wide world so a lot of thought really went into this.

Vegas was my first choice. But that wasn’t an option. However, the idea served as inspiration for this special night. The girls getting all dolled up, dinner at a nice restaurant with Vegas-like ambiance, and then bar hopping. Except we only hit up one bar. But it’s okay. One was all we needed.

After asking around, I found the perfect place to have dinner. Apartm3nt. A small intimate, sophisticated restaurant located on the 3rd floor of an apartment building on Kalakaua Ave. Perfect for a girl’s night out! The food was awesome! 

And what’s a perfect place without a little bit of drama? Yeah, slight drama. When one of the other bridesmaids arrived early to set up our table, she was told they had no record of a reservation. But it’s a good thing I had been conversing with the owner of the place via email. By the time I arrived with the guest of honor, everything was set up and ready to go. We were even given 2 free bottles of champagne to make up for their mistake.

favors filled with goodies, individual mints and confetti (look closely at those) sprinkled around the table, and champagne and good food.

Classy and sophisticated. All the “naughty” favors were tucked away in those pink bags you see in the pics.

And yes, there were games and other “naughty” prizes, but I decided not to post pics of those on here.

Gotta keep it classy!

😉

And then, of course… sissy and I had some fun with the camera…

(check out the first pic…I’m holding a fry and a piece of mushroom pizza 😉 )

After dinner we headed on down to Mai Tai for some drinks and more girl time.

Bride + her “maids”

Dinner was delish and the games we played were a hit.

Sissy enjoyed herself very much.

I did good, right?

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

🙂

Homesick For Hawaii

A week ago, I was in Hawaii. Celebrating with family and friends one of the best days of my sister’s life – her wedding. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back home. About a year and a half. And seriously, a week in Hawaii just isn’t enough time to do everything you wanna do. For my husband, it was all about doing the tourist thing. For me, it was about spending time with my family. And then when it was time to leave, doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it before, it’s never easy saying good-bye. But I know it’s not good-bye forever. I know I will be back again soon.

So it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. That’s no secret. With running around and making sure I had everything ready for our flight to the middle of the Pacific, I really had no time to sit and blog. And things got even crazier once I was in Hawaii. Girl time with my sisters and the rest of her ‘maids’, wedding rehearsal, bachelorette party festivities, the WEDDING…and playing tourist… Yeah, there was no time to blog.

I’ve lived in California for almost 12 years now. That’s a lot of flying back and forth. I’m not afraid of flying…I just hate that it takes forever to get to my destination. I wish we could just step into some transporter thing and transport ourselves from one place to another. Kinda like in Star Trek. Flying to Hawaii this time around took longer than usual. About 6 hours. Because we had to stop in Lihue, which is on the island of Kauai…which happens to be a 30 minute flight away from Oahu. Needless to say, Thursday was the longest day EVER!!!! We stopped in Kauai for about an hour and a half. Then finally arrived at the Honolulu International Airport just before 7:30 in the evening.

All I have to say is, thank goodness for smartphones and Instagram. It made killing time that much easier and tolerable.

Anyway, I won’t try to cram a week’s worth of events into one LONG blog post. I do have lots of pics and “stories” to share so keep checking back. 🙂

something to look forward to

Got this in the mail today…

It’s the invite to my seester’s wedding!

IN HAWAII!!!

Yeah, can you tell I’m excited?

Isn’t this wedding invite fab? I absolutely LOVE the color scheme.

Pink and Green.

So modern. So hip. Soooo my sister. 🙂

The bridesmaids will be wearing dresses from David’s Bridal in the pink color – more specifically, watermelon.

Yeah, we’re gonna be hot. 😉

I went in to try on and order my dress last week.

It’s supposed to be in around April 6th. Will definitely be sharing pics when I get it.

Anyway, needless to say…

I’m uber excited for my sissy… she’s going to be beautiful on her special day and I am so happy she’s giving me the honor to stand beside her when she says ‘I Do’ to love of her life.

🙂

I heart weddings, don’t you?

Letter to my Mama

Dear Mom…

Today, I celebrate you

You are my mother.

My mentor.

My best friend.

You are my Guardian Angel here on Earth.

Words cannot even begin to express how much you mean to me…

…or how grateful I am to have you in my life.

For you are the reason I have grown to be the woman I am today.

I only wish to be as strong as you are.

As wise as you are.

As humble as you are.

As perfect as you are.

In my world, you are my rock.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

Thank you for being the best mother you can be.

Thank you for always being there for me…

…for “having my back”.

But most of all, thank you for giving me life on this day 31 years ago.

I can only hope, that when it is my turn…

…that I will be a great momma like you.

Mom, you are amazing.

While everyone else is celebrating my special day…

Today I am celebrating you.

I love you with my whole heart…

Love Always,
Me

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taking it back...waaaaay back. LOL. Mom and me at my 6th grade graduation

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us @ my lil bro's 6th grade graduation

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mom with kids and grandkids

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Photo by Red Heart Photography

Photo by Red Heart Photography

Would have LOVED to show you some adorable baby pics…

…however, mom has ’em all at her house…

…in Hawaii…

And I don’t live there anymore…

But… hope you enjoyed my “little” trip down memory lane…

🙂

Bikini Season Is Just Around The Corner!!!

The Countdown is ON!!!

My beautiful sissy is getting married in May.

And guess where…

In HAWAII, baby! Woot Woot!

You know what that means…

Time to go bikini shopping!!!!

So here are some of my faves:

From Victoria's Secret: my 1st choice - same style, different print/color


Other ones I want from Victoria’s Secret…

And from Target…

This one:

…and  this one!

Both are SUPER cute and UBER inexpensive.

And last, but not least…
(at least for now)

THIS sexy monokini

…from Forever21.

So this is my bikini wish list.

It is very likely that more items will be added to the list.

This is just the beginning folks!!! 🙂

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