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Monday, February 27, 2012

Erika’s Hawaiian Wedding (Part One)

Erika and Dwight

This week I’m going to interview my friend, Erika, about her Hawaiian Wedding. Thank you, Erika, for sharing your very special time with my blog readers.

Enjoy the amazing photos, and hopefully you’ll be able to transport yourself to Hawaii as you read about her wedding day on the island of Oahu.

Where in Hawaii were you married?

Banyan Tree Estate
7015 Kalaniana’ole Hwy
Honolulu, HI 96825

Why did you decide to get married in the islands, and why that location?

Dwight’s immediate family lives there. We decided it would be less expensive for us to go to Hawaii instead of all of them flying to the mainland. (Dwight has a lot of extended family and friends in Honolulu as well)

Describe the surroundings and any décor.

Mmm . . . Smell Those Flowers!
The wedding ceremony was on the beach of the estate we rented. We held the reception under a tent in the estate’s back yard. The estate grounds and beach were the main part of the décor, with the added beauty of fresh cut flowers everywhere. (Cheryl’s note—can you imagine the scent of ocean and flowers—all under the warm Hawaiian sun? Hmm . . . I think on that date in January I was sitting at home listening to buckets of rain hitting my roof and deck!)

What was the ceremony like?

We created our own ceremony. It lasted only about 15 minutes. I walked down the aisle to his cousin playing the ukulele. Then we exchanged quick vows, leis and rings. Dwight’s auntie officiated.

The reception was even better . . . lots of delicious homemade food, and a salted caramel wedding cake to die for! We had a Hawaiian singer play during dinner and a professional Hula Dancer (Dwight’s cousin, Taylor) to accompany him.

Thank you, Erika!

Please come back on Thursday for Part Two of Erika’s wonderful wedding experience—And A Surprise Bonus—a special picture of her son with someone I’m sure you’ll all recognize.

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wiggle Time!

Tahitian Dancers at
The Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu

No, I’m not talking about a parent/child movement class. I’m talking Tahitian Dance.

Last month I attended a shower for my friend, Erika, who was getting married in Hawaii. So, of course the entire shower had an amazingly fun Hawaiian theme. My kind of celebration!

One of the best moments during the afternoon was when a teen relative of the hostess performed a Tahitian dance for us—in full dress and accessories! It was great.

But then she asked us to stand up and learn how to do Tahitian. Now, not everyone was thrilled with the prospect of trying to shake their hips like she did, but some of us gave it a try. I was among the adventurous.

I’ve done a lot of hula, but never Tahitian, and the way you move is completely different. In hula you use your legs and steps to move your hips. In Tahitian it’s the knees. What fun!!

And the best part? After the lesson, they gave an award to The Best Dancer. Guess who won? (Big Grin!)

Click this link to see more about Tahitian Dancing:

Next week I’m going to interview Erika about her Hawaiian Wedding experience. You don’t want to miss it!

Happy Tahitian Dancing!

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents . . .

And kings?

Over the past two months I have written about King Kamehameha IV, Queen Emma Kaleleonalani and King Lunalilo.

Hawaii is a unique state because of its royal history. But on this date in February, all of America celebrates and remembers its wonderful, rich heritage filled with a diverse array of presidents.

And the really interesting thing? Our current president, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

An Invasive Frog!

How can a cute, very tiny (about the size of a quarter) frog be invasive or even a nuisance?

The Coqui Frog came to Hawaii by accident around 1990. It is suspected that it arrived on plants from another area. Unlike the frogs in Puerto Rico, the Coqui Frog has no native predators to keep down the population. So, not only is the Coqui Frog population growing at an extremely rapid rate, but they are also eating tens of thousands of insects, including some crickets which included species found only in Hawaii.

Can there possibly any other bad news about this tiny frog? How about the male voice which he uses at night to attract females, and reaches decibels equal to the level of a vacuum cleaner—Wow!

For more information and photos, check out this web site:

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Mmm . . . Chocolate for Valentine’s Day!

I attended a Chocolate Party a few months ago and had a great time—DUH! Who wouldn’t?

I thought this White Coconut Mango Bark would be perfect for my Valentine’s blog—chocolate and a little taste of Hawaii! I didn’t have any macadamia nuts to add, but if you love nuts, I’m sure it would make the bark even more special. The recipe calls for four bars, but you can make a smaller amount. I did it with only one. I LOVE white chocolate, coconut and mango, so this made for an amazingly yummy treat!

This recipe was created by former Lindt Chocolate Consultant, Dede Marshall. 

White Coconut Mango Bark

White Coconut & Mango Bark

4 bars Lindt White Coconut Excellence Bars, broken into pieces
1-1 ½ cups dried mango, chopped. (You can also use dried pineapple)
¾ cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Water in the bottom pan should not boil, but be steaming enough to melt the chocolate.
Add mango and macadamia nuts (if using)
Pour out onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
Allow to sit. Refrigerate for approximately five minutes if needed.
Cut into one-inch squares or break into pieces (I made mine smaller)
Makes 1 ¼ pounds

Eat, or wrap and give to friends. Yum—Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hau`oli Lā Hānau, King Kamehameha IV

King Kamehameha IV

Happy Birthday! King Kamehameha IV was born on February 9, 1834. His name at birth was Alexander Liholiho.

His birthday is not observed as a state holiday, but is always celebrated by Hawaii residents every February 9.

On January 16, 2012 I did a blog about Queen Emma. She was the wife of Kamehameha IV.

This king had a short life, as he died when he was only 29 years of age after suffering for many years from asthma and nerve disorders. He and Emma had one child, Albert, who died at age four.

 King Kamehameha IV always worried about the American influence in Hawaii. He was correct in his beliefs, because eventually the influence became so prevalent that the nation was added to the United States.

To read more about Alexander Liholiho,  click this link: 

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Irresistibly Sweet!

Thank you, Cuffe Sisters!

Did you notice the new award on my blog? And just in time for Valentine's Day!

A great big thank you to Sadie and Sophie Cuffe (Off the Cuffe!) for giving me The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award! They have a cool blog about all kinds of things related to their books, being authors, their writing journey, and their lives. Click on their names to visit and enjoy!

Part of receiving this award is telling seven things about yourself, so I decided to tell you some things about me related to the time I lived in Hawaii. These may not be new to some of you who have read about my other award from 2011, but it never hurts to remind my readers about my crazy self!

1.   I actually learned to surf! It was fun because my friends gave me a nice long surfboard—perfect for beginners, and took me to an area where the waves were large enough to ride, but small enough for a rank beginner.

2.   I also body surfed, but ended up getting dropped by a big swell onto the shore and then dragged through the sand back into the swell. This scenario repeated itself over and over until my swimsuit was totally filled with sand. I didn’t worry one second about my safety—only about losing my suit!

3.   When snorkeling I was sure I saw an eel. I yelped and told my friend who promptly dove under to rescue me. When he popped up he informed me it was just a pipefish. You can read about this adventure and see a photo by clicking here: Pipefish 

4.   I took hula classes at The University of Hawaii and loved it. In the years since then, I have been able to teach a sit-down hula to kids, performed at my wedding reception, and performed at an event at a local shopping center.

5.   During my time in Hawaii I lived in a YMCA, then the college dorms, and finally a little house with five other girls. You can read a little about my dorm and see a photo of the Atherton YMCA by clicking here: Atherton

6.   While attending The University of Hawaii at Manoa, I was able to take all kinds of classes about the island. In my geology class we ventured into Diamond Head crater and searched for olivine. As well as dancing hula, I also sang in Hawaiian chorus at school.

7.   I participated in our dorm’s luau where we cooked a pig in an imu (a pit in the ground with hot rocks that works like an oven.) I served food and danced a Filipino dance with some friends as part of the entertainment.

What great memories!!!

Here are other blogs I visit and am awarding The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award! Check them out.

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken

Here’s another recipe from my friend, Luana. If you haven’t read my interview of her about growing up in Hawaii, check out my blog from November 3, 7 and 10, 2011.

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken


½ cup sugar
½ cup shoyu
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp powdered ginger
¼ tsp black pepper
Optional—sesame seeds

Mix 1 T cornstarch into 1 T cold water (mix very well!) Then add it to the marinade.

Mix the above well, and pour over 2 lbs chicken thighs. Let it marinate over night.

Bake in a 9 X 13 baking dish uncovered at 325 degrees for 1 ½ hours.

Serve over rice.
Shoyu Chicken Over Rice with
Cabbage, Garbanzo Bean & Tomato Tamarind Salad

I LOVED baking this chicken—just like I remembered from Hawaii! I used chicken breast because I prefer the breast to the dark meat of the thighs. If you make some slits into the meat, the shoyu marinade will get into the breast meat since it is naturally drier than the moister thigh meat.

While the chicken marinated I turned the sealed container over several times throughout the process to allow the marinade to really cover the chicken. I also added the sesame seeds to the marinade.

If you have trouble finding shoyu, try an Asian market and look for Aloha Shoyu which is made in Hawaii—since 1946.

I made a cabbage salad to go with it and my family loved it! I think I need to make this again soon—yum!

Mahalo for visiting!