Cooling Off

The heat and humidity of summer, you can't forgo something refreshing like ice cream. On the road to the beach you'll find a number of restaurants, hostels and businesses. Amongst these is a quaint food truck. If you're whizzing by on a bicycle or in a car you may miss it but it is definitely not to be missed. This food truck is a family owned and operated vegan ice cream business called Helado Buena Estrella (formerly Instant Ice Cream).

Opening January of this year, their all-natural coconut milk based flavors are simply delectable. Choose from fresh tropical fruit, herbs like mint or basil, Chamoy (a condiment of savory, sweet and sour which is popular here in Mexico) or  You can combine your choice of flavors which are blended with coconut milk then poured onto a non-griddle, metal plate that then becomes cold as it's mixed with metal paddles. The metal plate gets as cold as -30C.  In a few minutes you have "instant" ice cream made right before your eyes! They are knowledgeable, kind and helpful so don't hesitate to ask them for suggestions if you're undecided. 

The story behind their business is inspiring. The owner, Alfonso, moved to Playa Del Carmen a few years from Mexico City where he began working in a restaurant. This was quite a contrast from the film industry he had previously worked in. He found much satisfaction from seeing the immediate reaction of a customer when they were eating. His idea about having an ice cream business was something he had thought about for years. Tulum was the best location. Given that the ice cream is vegan it made sense. Whether you have a dietary restriction or just want to have something dairy-free it's a good pick.

 The food truck itself came by way of Miami into Mexico and then they purchased the ice cream machine and the supplies. With the help of his parents they make ice cream that is not only vegan but depending on the flavors you get could have a subtle elegance, brightness or an otherworldly  brilliance. 

They recently underwent some change in business by expanding and changing their name. You can find them on Facebook also. Stop by, enjoy some helado and cool off!

Who Doesn't Love Brunch?

The concept of brunch and its growth have caught on like a wildfire. But, did you know that the term 'brunch', was first printed in the late 19th century  when it was suggested as an alternative to heavy post-church lunches on Sunday. Nowadays, whether it's in London, New York City, Melbourne or here in Tulum, brunch is everywhere. Special occasions like Mother's Day brunch have become a part of a normal culinary experience. Below are my suggestions for a scrumptious brunch.


Del Cielo

A cute café in the beginning of Tulum Pueblo, they serve fresh juices, smoothies, baked goods, tartines, salads and sandwiches. My favorite is the avocado tartine. Breakfast items are served with either guacamole or salsa and salad. The bread is delicious and the flavors of avocado mash, onions and cilantro balances perfectly. The coffee is here is nice and strong. I prefer strong coffee which I still have a hard time finding even in NYC.

Cenzontle Jardín

Located amongst the eco-chic hotels and boutiques is a divine "garden". A restaurant that made such an impact on me during my first visit to Tulum, my friends and I went back the following night and is what sparked my return. Brunch started just a couple months ago but it can almost rival its dinner with an eggs benedict to die for. Honestly, I'm not sure if it's the eggs they use here but the hollandaise on it is unreal. Additionally, the ambience during the day is almost worthwhile in itself. Brunch cocktails such as a bloody marys and mimosa are available as well. The Bloody Mary I had was savory, strong and exactly what I needed. Before your brunch items are served you receive a basket of bread baked in-house with rosemary butter. On my visit the bread had specks of pink from the beet and was garnished with orange peel.


El Pez

Part of the Colibri Boutique Hotel Group, El Pez is located a short way down the Boca Paila road. The property includes hotel rooms and is very private as there are no neighboring hotels (directly anyway). It sits on a small cove and is right in front of a nice beach.

The ambience of the restaurant is superb. Open and breezy, you sit under a huge palapa at a table which has a great view. I've had lunch here a couple times and really enjoyed the level of service. It is attentive but not overwhelming. More recently I tried their Sunday Brunch. The occasion was Mother's Day (May 8th in the U.S.) and I ordered an poached eggs served on top of rye bread with roasted beets, caramelized onions and Chaya (spinach-like vegetable) and a touch of bacon. It was absolutely scrumptious. It was more like a luxurious version of a tartine. I liked the rye bread as it added both flavor and fiber. A healthier alternative to wheat bread. My mother ordered a smoked marlin eggs benedict which looked delicious. While I didn't order a cocktail, they serve mimosas and blood marys.

I highly recommend El Pez for your next meal. I'm still eager to try their dinner.

Buon provecho everyone!

Airy and bright interior at El Pez

Stunning view at El Pez

El Pez

Smoked Marlin Benedict at El Pez

Cenzotle

House baked bread with beet, hibiscus & garnished with orange peel

Mezcal based Blood Mary= Heaven

Brunch sandwich at Cenzotle

Eggs Benedict with bacon and fried fish


Favorite Tropical Fruits

I love tropical fruits. One of the top reasons I'd be homesick for Hawaii while living in NYC was because I missed eating tropical fruits. Mango, lychee (litchi) and passionfruit are definitely my top three.

Luckily for me, I found a way to eat these fruits without traveling to my home state. Mexico is much closer than Hawaii and significantly less expensive. It helps that I'm new to Tulum so I'm not running into people who've known me my entire life.

Mangoes are currently in season here. In Hawaii, they are a summer fruit. Seems in the Caribbean they start a little earlier than Hawaii. My mom used to bring back mangoes she'd receive from people who lived in warmer areas of Maui (mangoes require warmer temperatures to grow and ripen). The bottom drawer of our refrigerator was always full with mangoes. There are many varieties of mangoes. Here in Tulum I've been buying the Altoufo variety. They are an even color of saffron yellow on the outside and a slightly brighter, orange tinted yellow on the inside. The flavor is succulently sweet, the texture isn't stringy at all but more creamy. To me it's perfect and I'm so happy when eating them.

Passion fruit (maracuyá in Spanish or lilikoi in Hawaiian) is a tangy fruit full of edible seeds inside of sac-like structures, similar to, but not exactly like pomegranates. The outside is either bright yellow for a dark violet. Passion fruit grow on vines and the flowers are incredibly stunning. The smell of a passionfruit when you cut it open is vibrant even intoxicating. Passion fruit is delicious fresh and a beautiful addition to gelato, sorbet, cheesecake, créme bruleé or even eclair filling like my friend Alana does here . Not only do passion fruit taste incredible, they're great for your health as well. But really any fresh fruit is beneficial to your mind, body and stomach.

Lychee (Litchi) apparently will be in season here in the summer. I wasn't sure I could get them locally as I've only had them in Hawaii and Southeast Asia and hadn't thought to research it even. I really can't wait to have all my favorite tropical fruits at the same time. The best part is that they won't come from thousands of miles away which means they'll taste that much better.

I haven't even begun to cover the surface of tropical fruits that are available around here and in Mexico as a whole. But writing about them would become more of an encyclopedia about fruit so I stuck to my absolute favorites.

Altoufo mangoes at a grocery stand

The perfect mango

Passion fruit (Maracuyá) gelato in Playa del Carmen




Yucatecan Must

I'm certain you've had your share of Mexican food. And if you haven't, I suggest you have more or try it if you've never had it.

One thing that I've always loved about Mexican food, is how satisfying it was to eat after I'd go to the beach on Maui- particularly after surfing. Something about the mix of spices, beans, rice and guacamole whether it was nachos, a burrito, chimichanga (fried burrito), or enchiladas. Add a side of agua fresca of horchata or jamaica (pronounced a "Ha" sound and not a "J" like the country) and I was beyond happy. Food bliss as I knew it before I ever worked in the food industry.

Since my teenage years my understanding and love of Mexican cuisine has evolved to include more dishes and flavors. I also find it to be satisfying no matter what time of day. Food you find abroad, like many cuisines, doesn't reflect the nuances and regional differences of a cuisine. Mexico has traditional dishes that vary with each region. A burrito or chimichanga will be found in certain regions of Mexico and not others.

In the Riviera Maya and Yucatán Peninsula there's one dish that's particularly unique to the region: Cochinita Pibil.  Cochinita Pibil is a slow roasted pork dish flavored with spices including achiote or annatto. The marinated pork is wrapped in banana leaves, roasted underground for several hours. The roasted meat comes out having immense flavor while being delicately tender. The Cochinita Pibil is served on tortillas, often garnished with chopped and slightly pickled (with citrus juices) red onion. You can then top it with various salsas as you please.

One the most recommended places for Cochinita Pibil here in Tulum is Taqueria Honorio (on Satellite Sur between Andromeda Ote and Calle Sol Ote). It was highly recommended to me by a Mexican chef who has a restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and a local staff member of a hotel. Taqueria Honorio is a family-run restaurant that's been around You can order either a torta (sandwich) or taco with different meats. I've tried the Lechon, Negro Relleno also but I like the Cochinita best. If you have a decent appetite I suggest ordering three tacos to start. The clientele is a mix of tourists and locals and the staff speaks minimal English so if you can, order in Spanish. However, Spanish isn't your forte then I'm sure a nearby customer will help you out. The places in town that serve Cochinita Pibil open early and close in the early afternoon so either look into the hours or get there on the early side.



Cochinita Pibil tacos






Viva Mexico!

I've been in Mexico for about a week and a half now. Absolutely love it here! This was honestly one of the best decisions I've made as of recent. After my first time visiting in January and then traveling to Cuba and later LA, I returned to NYC feeling a bit sad and almost lost. A conversation with my mother on the phone prompted me one night to have this epiphany that Mexico was calling. I had to go back. It was fourth day back in NYC and I had made a decision for myself. Of course I told others but I wouldn't be swayed otherwise.

Flash forward to just over a month and I had booked my one-way ticket, sublet my room, stored some things and found an AirBnB. I coordinated with a friend who had planned a vacation on a whim so the first few days I stayed with her. She's a former coworker who's smart and funny so it was an enjoyable time.

I'm living in Tulum, Quintana Roo. If you aren't familiar with Tulum, it was once a small hippie town, which has become quite the go-to spot for those seeking to relax, unwind and renew themselves whether it be with yoga, laying on the beautiful beaches or exploring the natural surroundings. It's about an hour and half south of Cancún. The area is very tranquil and lush green to complement the white sand and the bright, blue Caribbean sea. There are Mayan ruins in town and others with a bit of driving so the culture is quite predominant.

My main focus for returning was to explore everything it has to offer in terms of food. In the five days I was in area (including Cancún), I was impressed by the freshness of the food and also the quality of cuisine. Tulum became of special interest because of its location and the laid-back feel of the town.


So far I’ve had more tacos and tamales than I can count, have found a favorite café to drink coffee and do work at and made a couple new friends. But I know I’ve only scratched the surface. Follow along on my new adventure as I discover the nuances, flavors and beauty of the food here.


What a year so far!

Hi, terribly sorry I haven't posted anything this year. Ever since last December I've been working on myself- letting go of past hurt/baggage and renewing and refreshing for this year. I recently turned 30 and I'm not sure if what the new decade or what but I felt a deep desire to make big changes.

I just finished an online food writing course. This was partly to add more mental stimulation in my life and also to continue learning. I looked back at old blog entries and I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier but maybe I just wasn't ready. Anyhow, I love it and am going to use to blog to write about and highlight my passion for food (pictures included of course!).

Even bigger than all is that fact that, due to an incredible experience of vacationing in Mexico and Cuba, I've decided to sublet my room here in NYC and move to Mexico to live for three months. During that time I'll focus on my food writing and growing my jewelry business. Tulum has a beautiful beach, many fresh water caves, delicious food and the prevalence of Mayan culture. I'm beyond excited and can't wait to share it all!!


Looks like it'll be an adventurous year filled with more travel which makes me so happy! Wish me luck and stay posted.




Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As much as I would like to be cooking (stuffing myself with) food, I'll be working later today so it's income instead. One of my favorite bloggers, Garance Dore posted this today and I loved that everyone spoke about what they were thankful/grateful for in different areas of their lives. Below is a my take on my life:

Friends: Growing up without siblings (I'm an only child), I always wanted to visit other peoples' homes. Partially from loneliness and partially for just stimulation so I wasn't in my own head so much. I really didn't develop deep friendships with girls my age till about junior year of college. Some of those young women are my dearest and closest friends today. Having lived in NYC now for just over three years I've been able to meet some beautiful, inspiring and positive women who I am so lucky I can call my friends. My mother has always told me that friends are to be treasured. She's completely right. Loving and supportive friends don't come around all the time. Friends are truly the family you choose.

Family: The family I grew up with was very small. Most of my life it was just my mother and I and most of the time one of our family dogs. Growing up I'd visit my grandparents every summer in Japan. My maternal grandfather is someone I continue to admire and respect even though he's passed. Japanese grandfathers aren't much for bubbly affection but his actions spoke loud and clear. I feel so honored that I was his only grandchild. My mother is undoubtedly the most beautiful, strong, inspiring, loving and gracious woman I know. Without her I wouldn't be here and be the woman I am today. In my 20s I was able to get closer to my father's side of the family. With my Japanese side gone, I'm really try to spend quality time with my paternal grandparents. Grandparents are a blast! They've lived through so much and have such exciting stories to tell and lessons to teach. Additionally I've gotten much closer to my cousins, my aunt and my uncle. They've become such solid rocks in my personal life. I look forward to a continuously growing relationship with them.

Work: The restaurant industry is actually for interconnected and small once you're in it. Two to three degrees of separation I'd say. I've been working at Greek restaurant in my neighborhood since late August and honestly they're another family. Greek people are very family-oriented and that influence impacts my colleagues and I. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and delicious food. With a smaller staff we can talk about so many things. What I love is that we all have different stories and upbringings, as well as interests which make for a dynamic group. So, although I'm sad I won't get turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes etc... I'm glad that I'll be with my little work family. Additionally I'm glad that I buckled down this year and got my jewelry business started. Entrepreneurship is in my blood and all the various work experiences I've had have led me to today. I'm thankful that I live in a country where a young woman can start her business freely.

Miscellaneous: As if I can't say this enough, I'm so thankful to be in living in one of the greatest cities in the world. New York City overwhelms me with its beauty, opportunities and challenges but I wouldn't have it any other way. My apartment, my neighborhood and the people I know and don't know make me so grateful to call this my home and my future.


Hope you all enjoy time with your loved ones. As the saying goes, "it is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful". Lastly, I'm grateful to those of you who read my blog. Promise I'll actually write more.

xo,
S

Fall Forward

The weather this fall has been up and down. I was Upstate in the Catskills this past weekend for a friend's birthday celebration that included a bonfire, games, hiking and beautiful fall foliage. Apparently it got cold here in NYC. Upstate it even snowed this past Sunday! However, the last two days the temps have been in the 70s. Bizarre right?! Then again, in is NYC. 

Anyway, I wanted to share some of my pictures from the much needed relaxing weekend in the Catskills. 

 First Sunrise 

 Tranquil cottage

Perfect weather

 Nearby creek

 View from the end of the hike

 

 Couldn't help it ;)

 Cotton candy sunrise

 Can't wait to return

 Little detour through Woodstock



Autumn Love

It's that time of year- the magical month of October and autumn! I probably haven't mentioned that it's my favorite season. I think it's in part due to the fact that I prefer cooler temperatures (I always feel like I'm complaining  sharing that I'm too warm). Oddly enough when I was growing up in Hawaii we didn't get the same feeling when the school year started. It was hot and the only thing it meant for me that my summer travels were over. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first day of school. It was SO exciting! New stationary, teachers and friends.

The moment that I really starting loving autumn was when I started college in Upstate New York. Upstate New York has a very long cold season and a brief Spring, Summer and Fall. However, when mid September came around the nights would get cool, the leaves would start to turn color and the sweaters or hoodies would become more visible on campus. There is one absolutely wonderful tree tree on the quad at my alma mater that I still think about every fall. As a close friend and classmate and I talked about this specific tree a couple weeks ago at a mutual friend's wedding, she used the term "perfect". If there was the perfect autumn tree it'd be this one. It turns the most vibrant hues of autumn that I still haven't seen in the time I've lived in Japan or in New York City. The interesting thing about leaves turning colors is that it's very dependent on temperature and moisture. A warm wet Spring, sunny summer days, warm fall days with cool nights produces the brightest fall colors. The last two autumns it seems I saw a lot more yellow and less orange and red. The shape of this tree and its location also added to its charm. It was a very round, full tree and I'm not even sure what type of tree it is but it was close to the Southeast corner of the quad near the science building. If you had a class in that building during the fall semester it was always best to try and convince the professor to have class outdoors just so you could appreciate this tree it all its glory.

Autumn in Japan there brings colors on the maples and gingko trees.  But for me the most amazing thing about fall there was the food. The Japanese are dedicated to eating seasonally and fall brings about oysters, sweet potatoes and rich and oily fish to name a few. Days are sunny and warm and the nights are crisp. The sides of the streams and rivers that are full of sakura (cherry) blossoms in the Spring change color. The desserts in department stores and bakeries change to apples, sweet potatoes and chestnuts. I highly suggest that, for foodie purposes, anyone traveling to Japan make the trip during the fall. You will not be disappointed.

Here in NYC, fashion becomes even more inspiring with the layered looks including boots, scarves and hats. The cooler nights are a refreshing change to the humidity of summer. You no longer need to worry about sweating (mostly) and there's just something about the light during the day that changes and inspires me. Although I'm no longer a student I still find it motivating (remember I do better when its cooler) to write down my goals. The trickiest thing for me is that because I'm always warm, if we were talking about Ayurveda they'd say I have have a lot of fire energy in me. So layering is key but no matter how hard I try I can't bundle up cute like most women of NYC during the fall but I just get too overwhelmed. And then the time I actually feel cold enough it's basically winter weather... An extra fun thing about September and October is that it's fashion week. Beginning with NYC and ending with Paris.

I'm not as big on pumpkin flavors unless it's Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) soup or tempura or pie so Starbucks can't lure me. Also, I only go to Starbucks when there's absolutely no other option. For coffee it means, no more iced lattes and I start to warm my own coffee mug with hot water to keep the coffee warmer longer. September and October will be my favorites months of the year. Hope you all enjoy this lovely month!!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! I know it's been a few months since I last posted. There's a whole trip to South East Asia that I need to update you on

I continuously say life is busy and that is never an excuse to take the time to express gratitude for those of you who've read and viewed my posts. I have ideas to change the direction of my blog and of course the frequency of my posts. Hope you look forward to it as much as I do.

Hope you're all doing well. Take this day to be grateful for all that you have. I'm most grateful for my family, friends, my health and living in NYC.

All the best readers!!

Summer in the Hamptons

Hello all! Again, its been months since my last post. I'm deeply sorry about the delay. My new year's resolution is always to be more consistent with my writing however it seems the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life catches up to me and I can't seem to post anything significant .

I've recently left my job in Manhattan. The team has had significant turnover since I started there in the fall and it just doesn't have the same energy as it used to. Plus, business has been much slower since summers in NYC tend to be more quiet with many residents heading East to the Hamptons on the weekends.

Ironically I started at a restaurant in the Hamptons in June. I'll be here for another month or so before I venture on an amazing vacation with my closest friend for her post-bar trip.

I've never been to the Hamptons before but I'm really enjoying my time out here. The house I'm staying at is slightly further from villages and the beach but with a bike my roommate so nicely let me borrow I've been able to ride and explore. There's a winery, corn fields, farm stands, a beach and cute cafes within riding distance. Plus, if I so desire I can ride to work.

This month I've been back and forth between NYC and here as I was still work in the city and since leaving that job I've been getting things together for my upcoming trip as well as my move. Since I no longer had to be in Manhattan for work it didn't make sense for me to pay rent next month. Therefore I'm moving my things into storage next week and will be looking for a new place with my friend from September.

This is all A LOT to do but there's nothing like staying busy and getting ready for exciting changes!

Below are some pictures of my time so far in the Hamptons. Have only made it to Montauk once but I'm hoping I'll be able to surf out there soon.










Winter Blues? Never

Where did January go?! How are you all? Surviving winter I hope (if you're in the Northern hemisphere that is). New York City has been getting a significant amount of snow lately. I find it beautiful and exciting until the temperature changes and the pretty snow becomes gross slush. It's been pretty cold as well but somehow I feel like the amount of snow is so much greater in Upstate NY that there's not much to "withstand" here other than wind and cold.

 Again a month has passed and I didn't update my blog. I have a lot of picture to add also. Winter days make for some lovely pictures!

 2014 continues to get more exciting by the week. I was just invited to another friend's wedding which will be held in November of this year. That makes two weddings I'll be attending two months in a row. My childhood best friend is getting married on New Year's Eve and she asked me to be bridesmaid. I'm looking forward to it as I've never been in a bridal party. It's crazy the number of close friends who got engaged over the holiday season. They don't call it the high season for engagements for no reason.

 In other news work has been busy for me. The restaurant is picking up again slowly and with fashion weeks starting tomorrow it's bound to be another crazy but fun week. As the PR person for a designer I'm particularly excited for his show on Sunday. The organization as well as the balance of chaos and calm of a fashion show is what has and still draws me to fashion PR. I actually get really giddy thinking about it. For me this time of year is almost better the holidays. It certainly treats me better!! Additionally my birthday falls right in the middle of New York fashion week. What better present than the attention of the fashion world on NYC with bloggers, editors, photographers, students etc... milling about this FABULOUS city??

 Really trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour on the nights I don't work. Bedtime for me. Good night beauties:)

 P.S. Happy Chinese New Year!! The Year of the Horse here we goooo!!!

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year everyone!! I'm very excited for this coming year. Last year was exciting and rewarding, but that came with times of struggle, frustration and testing. I'm not huge on New Year's resolutions, the ones I make about exercising never seem to stick, but this year I'm going to maintain this blog. I've severely neglected it and I no longer want to make excuses about "being busy" etc...

One significant factor that makes this easier to achieve will be that I bought a new laptop so I won't be limited to writing posts on my iPhone. I also want to brainstorm about the direction I want to take this blog. I have many ideas for the year related to my dreams and goals and intend to make writing a significant part of that.

 I've had a new job since October which I enjoy. I'm no longer hostessing at restaurants but serve now. My colleagues are fun, great people and I enjoy my time off by going to brunch/lunch, relaxing and occasionally shopping. I've also been working with a designer on his PR. This has been an extremely rewarding aspect to my life as it is the reason I chose to move to NYC. The work with him will finish at the end of the month so I'll consider whether I want to continue doing it longer or at all. The reason I'm hesitant is that working in the restaurant industry is that it allows me more freedom with my time and I'm passionate about food. Currently I'm working with food and fashion so I couldn't be happier!

 I'm truly grateful to be where I am, here in NYC with friends I love spending time with. An added plus for this holiday season has been that my mother is visiting me. I caught the flu on Christmas but she nursed me back to health and for that I couldn't be more humbled and appreciative. I truly enjoy her being here. She's here another week so I'm hoping to make the most by going out to eat and laughing a lot. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and great New Year. May 2014 bring you health, happiness and prosperity:)

London



Spent three weeks in London recently. London is another favorite city of mine but really it's hard to play favorites when each city has its own appeal, charm, energy and beauty

Nevertheless London was where I had intended to move to from Maui but it proved to be a difficult feat and everything was pointing to NYC. I don't regret for a single moment in my decision to move here to NYC. I absolutely love it here and there's always more to appreciate and admire. Okay back to London.

This trip wasn't for leisure but a trip to lay down the groundwork for a future project. I'm really excited about it. When the time comes I'll definately share! 

Now for some London pics:)

Note: Meant to post this a couple weeks ago and it remained as a draft. Oops!! 



Was there for July 4th and got this cupcake from Hummingbird Bakery!




Spring in NYC

Yikes! Months since I wrote last. Technically it was last year:( 

I've never been happier (except for when I'm traveling) than in the eight months I've  been living here in New York City. Often I pinch myself to make sure I'm not in a dream. And now with spring here the city is gorgeous and full of even more life!!

I won't write much but wanted to share a few pictures. I lost my phone and unfortunately a lot of pictures about a month ago so these are just what I've take since.




December

I apologize for significant lack of posts. I have the Blogger app on my iPhone and still can't seem to get it together. Maybe I feel more comfortable on my laptop? But then all the photos I take are on my iPhone... Anyhow, my laptop is now 7 years old and is still managing to provide whatever I need to use it for which is mostly for browsing the web lol. As soon as I'm able to I'm thinking of getting the Macbook Pro :)So..fall is almost finished. My favorite season but since the weather has been so erratic I was only able to have a few fall-like days in terms of outfits/clothes. This may also be because compared to the general populous of NYC I'm relatively underdressed when it comes to cooler temperatures. Winters in Japan were pretty cold. Mostly because of the humidity. And in Upstate NY there was the lake effect which makes things almost twice as cold. Like I've mentioned before I'm not as fond of humid and hot which makes me, born in Hawaii and all, more resilient to the cold. I just always figure it'll be colder so why dress so warm when it's still in the 30s? People will look like the boy from 'Christmas Story' by the time the temps dip below zero at the rate they're dressing. Now it's the holiday season. The tree at Rockefellar Center was lit up last week and stores and streets are decorated for the Christmas season. Since I haven't been in NYC during this time of year before I find it so pretty to see. But Japan made me a little Grinch-like because it's such an event there and Christmas seemed very artificial and materialistic (which it can be everywhere) but there wasn't any cozy, loving warmth like the holidays in the States. In high school I would start writing Xmas cards as soon as Thanksgiving finish and be so eager to send them out. I would decorate and get so excited for Christmas! I'm trying to change my mentality and get into the Christmas spirit (at least in terms of decorating, buying gifts etc...) but I guess I'm lazy. I want to keep baking cookies like I did at Thanksgiving but without a full time job yet I'm limited on a budget to buy gifts. Guess it's a good thing I have a small family lol! People keep asking me what my plans are for Christmas but I have no clue. I didn't know what I was doing for Thanksgiving till the day of. My family is far away so maybe it doesn't seem as important for me. I'll likely make fun plans with friends and enjoy that they're off work or something lol. I made Xmas dinner in Japan which was a bit of work and not sure I'll do that but I'm looking forward to making egg nog which I made for the first time ever two years ago. Yummm! Holiday parties will be fun to attend too.Other than this rambling I'm still in the process of looking for a job. Have a part-time job in retail and I volunteer at a school which has been incredibly meaningful and fun. I'm really enjoying my life here in NYC and can't believe that it's been almost three months since I moved here. Where'd the time go?!!Okay, that's all for now. Will post pictures from my iPhone asap.Hope you're all well!

In NYC!!!

Hi all! Gosh it's been sooo long since I last wrote. I can't even remember what my last post was about. Anyway, BIG change for me. About a month ago I moved to New York City!! I'm so happy to be living here. Maui is great but since I wanted to work in fashion again and my plans to get to London this summer didn't work out I figured NYC was the place to go. Plus I haven't a bunch of girlfriends who are here. I really can't believe a month has gone by. It literally FLEW by! I arrived right before fashion week which was perfect timing. I've been reconnecting with friends and college classmates as well as meeting lots of new and wonderful people.I will be posting pictures asap so stay tuned! Hope you're all well and sorry that this update is so late :/

Summer

Happy summer! How has your summer been so far? Mine has been fantastic. I'm sorry I haven't written in so long- yet again. I wrote a post via my iPhone but I guess I forgot to save it because it was gone :( Anyway, the summer here has been beautiful.Granted it's pretty gorgeous year-round but with a very dry spring the fields of upcountry Maui were looking a bit brown.

Thankfully June brought some rain and therefore greener fields and all the fruits and flowers. My grandparents were visiting Kauai and I went for a few days. It was mostly rainy/cloudy but when it was sunny it was spectacular. I definately recommend a visit to the Northshore of Kauai. Some of my pictures include Kauai.

I had hoped to be in London by now but unfortunately my plans fell through and I'm still here on Maui. I've been to Europe in every other season and was excited to spend the summer in London during the Olympics etc.. Seems like it's been a rainy summer for London so far but nevertheless I wanted to enjoy the various markets, plethora of food and all the beauty it has to offer.

Since London didn't work I had to kind of readjust my mindset (I'm still very set on living in Europe, London specifically, in the near future)so that I'd be able to eventually move to Europe for a longer period of time. Therefore I've made a bit decision to move to New York City! I'm so excited. I also haven't been on the East Coast for the summer. The not being in other places during the summer is probably because I was usually in Japan.

I have many good friends living in NYC and since I want to get back into working the fashion industry it just made sense. Plus it's a short flight away from Europe:) I'm job searching at the moment and once that's set I'll figure out my living situation and such. I can't wait to be back in a big city. Maui is amazing and beautiful but it's still an island and there's nowhere to run to for excitement. And I'm kind of over having to drive everywhere. I'm a big fan of public transportation and walking.

Other than these big life changes I'm enjoying my work with a wedding photographer. The hours are flexible and work environment pleasant- definately less drama. The Makawao Rodeo was this past weekend and I saw a little of that which was fun. I have a friend moving back to Washington so I hung out with her and am trying to spend as much time with my friends, my mom and dog. So that's it for me.

Enjoy the pictures!

Capturing my heart

Summer has arrived! Well semi-offically. Most people probably think that it's always summer here in Hawaii but I would say we have two-three seasons: humid and warm, wet and cool and something in the middle that occurs during fall and spring. The weather isn't too humid yet and rain falls occasionally making it a beautiful time to be on Maui. Schools are out for the summer and that means children frolicking everywhere. Hopefully businesses become busier with another high season of tourism arriving. This time of year is probably my favorite because the jacaranda are in full bloom. If you've never heard of a jacaranda look it up on Google images. They're absolutely gorgeous! Of all the flowers that bloom here in Hawaii it is one of my favorites. Something about the light purple blossoms, large climb-worthy trees and fragrant smell puts me over the moon. When I was growing up the highway that you drive on the way to my house is full of jacaranda trees and when they bloom painters will park on the side and paint pictures of the beautiful trees in front of a background of open fields. Things like this really make me appreciate living up here where the weather is cooler and the views are stunning. Living down on the South shore for about two months was a lot of fun with places to go (mostly beaches), people to see and lots to eat but I'm so glad to be back at my mother's house because the weather was getting too warm for me. Imagine that! Most people love the weather there-retirees, tourists etc... It doesn't really rain and sun all the time is nice but it gets hot. The one perk was that my laundry would dry quickly! Anyway, I've been horrible about writing as I've become busier lately. I started another job as a personal assistant to a photographer which I enjoy. It isn't challenging necessarily but it's in a relaxed atmosphere and the people that I work with are very upbeat and positive. It's nice to have variety in the things you do which is probably why I can't stick to one specific thing and love to dabble in different projects and tasks. I'm still keeping positive about getting to Europe. I've never been there during the summer and just have to be there. Alright, that's all for now. Will try harder to update more. I'll post more pictures from my iPhone next time. Taking pictures is the only thing I can consistenly do. Makes sense that I work for a photographer right? Hope you're all well. Take care and aloha! 皆様お元気ですか?本当に長い間ブログに書いてなくってすみません!最近忙しくなってきましたのでなかなか書く時間がなかったです。 こちらはもう夏ですよー!学校も夏休みに入りました。ハワイのお天気も夏に近いです。ハワイは一年中夏と思ってるかもしれないけど、実は季節は2-3個あります。まず夏は少し蒸し暑くって太陽もいっぱいです。冬は雨が多く降り、たまに台風も来ます。雨が降らない日はすごく良いお天気です。こちらの春秋は夏と冬の間の天気でちょうどういい気温です。雨も少なくって蒸し暑くないです。 今の時期が一番好きかもしれません。なぜかとゆうと今はジャカランダの木が満開です。ジャカランダの木をご存知じゃない人は是非Googleで検索してみてください。とってもきれいなつぼみです。木は大きく、花は紫、そして花の香りも甘い。本当に大好きです。私のお家に来る道にいっぱい木があり、昔からの思い出はジャカランダが満開の時にいろんな絵描きが絵を描いてます。 最近仕事が一個ふえてました。写真集のパーソナルアシスタントをやってます。とくに難しい仕事じゃないけど、楽な環境で働く事がいいです。それと周りに働いている人たちが明いです。 いちようこの夏ヨーロッパに行く予定です。仕事はまだですけどそのうちあります。夏のヨーロッパは過ごした事がないので、ポジティブに考えて絶対いきます! ではここまでです。次がiPhoneから写真を乗せます。また見てください! じゃね!アロハー!