30 June 2012

Shayde's Mermaid 1st Bday

My best friend since Kamehameha Preschool days (Shanelia Laimana) celebrated her daughter's "Under the Sea" 1st birthday today. It was that huge party right off Kam highway across PCC with all the choke cars parked everywhere. Yes, we Hawaiians know how to give it when our babies turn one. 
{shots off my instagram @ashlyn_aspy, don't add me if i don' t know/like you!}
I was suuuuuper excited about Shayde's party because of all the handmade decorations/favors Nel had done......and because of the food! I LOVE Hawaiian baby luaus, graduation parties and weddings because of ono HAND caught & hours of prepared local food. Which is never ending. I say "Hawaiian", because those parties are where I'm most comfortable at, hello its my culture & upbringing.

The atmosphere of modern and traditional falsetto live Hawaiian music....men wearing Reyn's aloha shirts, shorts & slippers...giving honi to all the kupuna, relatives you haven't seen in a while & even to uncles & aunties who aren't really your uncle & aunty, but really they kinda are.....the smell of puakenikeni, pikake, yellow ginger, plumeria....that's just some of what I love and enjoy about being raised Hawaiian in Hawaii!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy parties thrown by other cultures, they even fascinate me at times with their differences and uniqueness....but there's nothing like your own.

Mahie was all over the place and ate everything SUGAR. She was so sticky by the time we left. It was nice catching up with EVERYONE: Kahuku High classmates, meeting/cuddling their chubby babies, relatives on Jordan's (Nel's husband) side who are related through my Great-Grandma Julia. James had to work, but Hill came along and we devoured everything. Her fave was the fish & mine the squid luau + poi, of course! Mahie takes after me, we love our Polynesian food.

Great party Laimana's & Kahawaii's!

*P.S. its my Dad's 50th Birthday, but we're celebrating tomorrow!

29 June 2012

Maui {Day 3: Monday, June 25th}

Morning Sunshine
For our last day in Maui, we slept in until our stomachs (especially mine and Mahie's) grumbled from breakfast hunger. James was sent off to Mc Donald's next door and so we had breakfast in bed with Mahie going back and forth between my pancakes and James's sandwich. We had our bellies filled and then got ready for some water action. 

Ahui hou Royal Kahana
We recommend staying here! It's a vacation condo, so it came with a fully furnished room, kitchen, fridge and washer/dryer. Plus a beautiful view of the ocean and Lana'i. {22 Weeks below!}

Return to Front Street
We made our final stop back at good ol' Front Street to: 1. Catch a Movie: {Brave}. It was okay, but we wouldn't watch again. Mahie was walking up & down the back aisle, it was a nice rest from driving. After the movie, we did some final visits at the cute shops along the stretch. We tried some Gelato & I browsed through some surf shops. Geez those tourists are getting ripped off on some of those prices.

Drive back to Kahului
After being in Maui for two days, we realized how close everything really is. At first we thought the drives were long {but beautiful}, but once you have a sense of direction, destination seem to pop up faster. Poor Mahie hated being in her car seat the entire trip. I lost count of how many times we pulled over to let her stretch her energetic legs. She loves being outside and FREE. 

Last shots of Maui:

Maui Mall Theaters {Double Movie Day}
We had tons of hours to kill until airport time, so we decided on another movie but this time James' pick: the vampire one with Abe Lincoln. THAT was weird & I jumped a few times during the movie. We grabbed a bite to eat while we waited for the movie to start. They have a water fountain in the center circle where anyone's able to play in the water shooting up. And guess whose child wandered over being niele!
{curious baby turned WET baby in just a few seconds. The water disappeared & then shot up and landed on her}

Good thing the afternoon sun was pretty strong so that Mahie dried off without having to open our luggage in the car. We played for a while at Fun Factory & got her some cheap toys with our tickets. After the movie, I had a bite to eat, we made our final FINAL :( stop at Krispy Kremes to order a box for the family back home, returned the rental, and was back on Hawaiian Air! 

Maui Trip to celebrate our 2nd Wedding Anniversary: COMPLETED!
Three days & two nights was enough fun for us. We saw a lot, learned a lot and ate a lot! Maui is beautiful and unique in its own way. It has made me appreciate living in Hawaii more and my love for my Hawaiian culture. I'm glad I got to share this trip with James, and yes with Mahie too!

Thanks for reading up on our Maui 3-Day Series :)

28 June 2012

Maui {Day 2: Sunday, June 24}

Lahaina 1st Ward {1st Stop}
We started our day right by going to church! I have always enjoyed attending different wards. As we were staying in Kaanapali, the nearest ward was just a few minutes away in Lahaina, right off the main highway and across a surfing coastline. It was a nice little chapel. I guess they must be used to all the haole tourists vacationing (and there was a lot). It was cool hearing them release and sustain members on Lana'i and Moloka'i. Sacrament talk theme: Faith & Integrity!

Maui Swiss Cafe {2nd Stop for Brunch}
We brought extra clothes & headed straight from church to cruise the island. We stopped by Front St. and had lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall cafe. Everything was petite sized and cute. We were hesitant at first with all the tacky pink, but the panini sandwiches and Roselani ice cream/strawberry crepes were delicious. James's pick, two thumbs up!

Iao Valley {3rd Stop to see the Kuka'emoku}
Wailuku welcomed our curiosity with a stop at windy Iao Valley. It reminded us of the Pali lookout and Mahie enjoyed running around in the heavy breeze. The surrounding was moist, green, and crowded.We stayed just to get a few shots and let Mahie get her wiggles out. The wind and tourists were too much. Parking is usually $3, but we got in for FREEEE!

Da Kitchen {4th Stop in Kihei}
Lunch time called for another local hotspot that makes the most ONO local food ever & with HUGE portions. There's nothing like growing up in the islands and eating laulau, kalua pig, lomi salmon, chicken long rice with a side of poi, rice and mac salad. (Don't forget your Aloha Shoyu!) I was just missing squid luau. James isn't really a fan of Hawaiian food (how's him?!), but Mahie and I sure are. Kihei was very hot and sunny. Too bad it was Sunday, or else we'd have jumped in the crystal clear water that was so tempting and nearby.....we instead decided to drive back to Kaanapali for some shut eye!

{Mahie taking over the bed during nap time}

 Lahaina Pizza Co. {5th Stop DINNER overlooking the moonlit ocean}
I shook James awake and told him I craved pizza. Off to Front St. again! Up the never ending staircase (there was no elevator, boo!) and seated at a balcony table, we welcomed an overloaded veggie, cheesy deep dish pepperoni pizza. This thing was huge, and the waitress hooked us up with a half-off Kamaaina discount! We ordered their cookie pizza dessert to go and we devoured it back at the hotel while watching a redbox dvd. It was a fun way to end our 2nd day in Maui, in bed relaxing and munching in front of the tv. Our hotel room A MESS!

 BY THE WAY, Today was our OFFICIAL anniversary, when two years ago James & I jumped on a plane and were sealed for ETERNITY at the Kona, Hawaii Temple. That temple will always have a special place in my heart because of our sealing experience. Even more because the only people we had accompany us was our parents on both sides and temple member siblings. Just us & our loved ones. It was small, intimate and very meaningful, I didn't care nor want to return back to Oahu for my stressful reception. I really felt extra special and truly adored and loved by my new husband.
"He may not be a movie star, but when it comes to bein' happy, WE ARE!
There's not a man today who could take me away from my guy..."
-you said it Diana Ross!

27 June 2012

Maui {Day 1: Saturday, June 23 }

Let's just say we started off as ZOMBIES! I had worked an event the night before until 11pm, we finished packing around 1:20am, we left to the airport by 4am and departed Honolulu at 6am. No matter what, I told James that our trip motto was, "NO REST FOR THE WEARY", and did that kill us at times! haha. I love being at airports, especially morning flights.

We flew Hawaiian and I'm happy we did. There's nothing like being surrounded by local people, on a local airline, plus POG juice. As soon as we closed our eyes to catch a break, WE LANDED! 

Haleakala {1st Stop...Maui has some good radio stations}
....well after a much anticipated stop at Krispy Kreme's, we headed to the mountains! It was a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime drive. It would've been more enjoyable if we hadn't been running on limited sleep and a sugar rush, but those turns + thick clouds + dumb bikers riding down, was unreal. Some of the turns didn't even have a guard rail or anything, so if you went too fast, oh well! As we approached marker 16, James needed a quick power nap so we pulled over. As soon as I joined him though, the princess in the backseat woke up and it was time to feed her the breakfast I packed. No Zzzzzzz...
It seemed the lesson of that drive was....Patience: DON'T GIVE UP JUST YET, because you'll love the end result. It was clear and sunny at the top above the clouds. Very welcoming until I stepped outside the car and was immediately reminded of Provo, UT waiting for Spring to arrive. Crisp air but you could still feel the sun on your face. Mahie didn't like the cold wind or the idea of bundling up. It was beautiful, peaceful and serene, minus all the tourists wondering everywhere. A Must See!!

Guriguri {2nd Stop...located at the Maui Mall Center}
In Kahului, all the locals hit up this family-owned shop. "Guriguri" a cross between sherbert and ice cream, kind of, is said to have originated from the old Hawaiian plantation days as a Japanese treat. It comes in either pineapple or strawberry. It was different, but yummy. My fave is the pineapple.

Lahainaluna {3rd Stop}
The drive through the "neck" and to the "head of Maui" was gorgeous. I almost forgot how sugarcane fields looked like. I told James that the drive to Mililani used-to look like this when I was little. We didn't realize check-in wasn't until 3pm, so we cruised a little in Lahaina. We drove up towards Lahainaluna, where my Dad used-to board at for high school. A shot of Lana'i from the campus top:

Kaanapali {4th Stop....pretty much dead tired by now}
The Outrigger Royal Kahana was our home for our 3 day, 2 night stay. We were all tired, esp Mahie!

Cool Cat Cafe {5th Stop...woke up starving}
After the longest nap recovery ever, we showered & got ready for dinnertime. A place I wanted to try was the Cool Cat Cafe on Front Street. Lucky thing it was open late, as we didn't leave to Lahaina until 8pm-ish. James got the hula-style teriyaki chicken and I devoured a Luna burger & onion rings! This place had an awesome menu, service, live music, and Kama'aina discount I ever was blessed with. HALF OFF! Nowhere on O'ahu ever did that. We recommend this place, they loved Mahie too!

Walgreens Lahaina {EMERGENCY Stop}
On the way back to our hotel, Mahie got super fussy and started to burn up quickly. She sprouted 4 back teeth that night and was suffering big time, poor thing. She even got a huge rash, so we drugged & numbed her to sleep. We all wanted to sleep by that time. (AIM & Tide were on sale, lol)

That was our MAUI {Day 1} adventure in a nutshell. It was long and hot, but it's better to be out exploring than in your hotel room sleeping the trip away. I'm glad we got to do everything we had planned for the day & then some. Heavenly Father has truly blessed us as a young growing family.

26 June 2012

Sweet Unwind

Today we are still unwinding from our post-Maui travels, even though we woke up at 8 am! If Mahie isn't already crying to be fed, then it's the baby boy kicking inside of me wanting to munch or PEE! My parents were really happy to wake up to Mahie being home again, so much that my Mom brought out a new book and toys she had gotten because of "Mahie-withdrawals". They were pretty cool and brand new-ish looking stuff, considering she got them all for just a buck at a garage sale. James had to head off to town to run some errands for his brother Richard (who's living in New Zealand), and so I tagged along for the drive to Honolulu. 

And since we were on Punchbowl St., and Restaurant Row was JUST around the corner, James granted my sweet tooth and TV show addiction of going HERE:
the Hokulani Bake Shop
They were one of the featured winners on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars! Who hasn't seen this yummy competitive show? When we arrived, they were in the middle of taping something as there was a camera crew. However, it didn't stop me from getting in. We ordered a variety as it was our first time (and probably our last because of the pricey-ness). We got one of everything in the picture above, and two of the strawberry shortcake and red velvet flavors. I'm a BIG/HUGE red velvet cake lover! Thanks for the sugary goodness Hokulani, and the pretty brown & orange reusable bag that I can pack my lunch in =]

25 June 2012

Byebye Maui

And we made it back from our 3-Day weekend trip of ANNIVERSARY fun! We are VERY Maui'd Wowie'd out. Tomorrow I'll start to recap, as our hotel had no internet access. Unless you're following on Instagram you would've seen the entire trip played out. No rest for the weary!! We filled up those 3 days and 2 nights with nonstop going here & there. 
It really felt like we were back on our honeymoon, just this time with a baby, stroller, diapers, snacks, sippy cups, toys, car seat in tow. A new lesson learned in our Parenting book of Life on traveling with a toddler. We're still figuring out what made us the most tired: the driving or the baby :)  We ENJOYED, we laughed, we ATE, and we photographed every single memory of our 2nd Anniversary. Maui was very fun, but we're happy to be home. O'ahu NO KA OI!!!! (O'ahu is the BEST!)

22 June 2012

2nd Anniversary Surprise!

I can't wait for TODAY to be OVER WITH, because TOMORROW we're going HERE:
 I get restless really quickly if I'm not doing something. So last Sunday after Father's Day, I realized our 2nd Anniversary was coming up (June 24th). Anyways, I found super cheap tickets on Hawaiian Air, along with a sweet car and hotel deal. And before you could even blink your eyes, THEY WERE BOOKED for this three day weekend!! I was soo excited and wanted to surprise James, however I know my husband doesn't really like surprises and considering this involved LEAVING O'ahu, I told him after 15 minutes of big smiles and jitter bugs! It didn't really hit him until last night when I picked him up from work, and he said, "Yes! One more day and then we're out of here!" Don't know if he had a crappy day, but so true nonetheless! We'll be out of here soon!

We have both never been to Maui. I almost went with my Halau Mahala Ilima group, but then 9-11 happened and my Haleakala dreams were crushed! We're taking Mahie with us because after all, aren't we celebrating the start of our Family?! We used our last gift card from Mahie's birthday to stock up on snacks for her, we've cleaned & organized our room, printed our itineraries....now it's one more day of work and we'll be at Hawaiian Air tomorrow bright and early for our 6am flight!!

Thank you everyone for your travel tips and "You GOTTA GO HERE" Stops. Keep the ideas coming! We'll be staying in Kaanapali and heading to everywhere else :)

20 June 2012

17 June 2012

Father's Day 2012

...and Father's Day went like this...

homemade daddy cards
...and some for Grandpa too! (*FYI mo'opuna = grandchildren)

Grandma woke up VERY early, (even after the dumb blackout last night where we thought we'd loose all of our defrosted groceries) and made a huge hearty breakfast. The local Hawaiian usual: scrambled eggs, rice, bacon, sausages, regular pancakes and German pancakes. All with POG juice and Ketchup. The Dad Kings of the house enjoyed breakfast in bed, with Mahie picking off James' plate.

Fastforward to AFTER church, lovely smelling lei's and SURPRISE LUNCH TIME!
(Garlic Steak & Shrimp)
Cupcakes by Kiki was having a Father's Day special, only $10 for red velvet, choc. chip filled, and vanilla cream, including free delivery. They were yummy!! I probably overdid my prenatal sugar level for the week :(
FREE printables off Pinterest

to the
my Mom got him phone cards to call home lol
And now Mahie is running around the house high on sugar while everyone is just lounging around.
Love to all the Daddy's, Future Daddy's, and even the Mommy's who have to fill the role of Daddy too!

16 June 2012


For a while, my Dad really wanted to eat at PCC's Prime Dining dinner buffet......because he wanted UNLIMITED crab. I got lucky from work with a FREE dinner for two (Because only RICH tourists can actually afford that side of the Gateway Restaurant), and since James is always working at that time + Mahie would never sit still if we took her.....we granted Dad's UNLIMITED CRAB WISH as an early Father's Day gift.
He was super excited and appreciative of his dinner date with Mom. So much, that he kept telling her to hurry up and get ready as soon as the evening approached to head over to PCC. Miss Mahie thought she was going to tag along with Grandma & Grandpa, but I decided they needed a meal date all to themselves without worrying about a toddler rascal running everywhere. They later returned with full AND fulfilled tummies.

Happy Father's Day Dad
I love you!

....and hopefully you don't see the surprise card I made you for tomorrow:

14 June 2012

New blog on the street

The new blog title & layout is dedicated to ALLLL the (mento) people who've asked if (I) people in Hawaii still live in grass shacks/huts. I won't get into detail, but there/here you go! I've been inspired, haha.

On a different note...

We three plus the bun in the oven are doing well, besides dying from the increase in humidity. I don't remember suffering this much from heat/sweating when I was little. Maybe it was because I had more energy that I would run to the beach, or play with the hose during the day, or sleep outside on the lawn at night. Even our a.c. feels like it can't compete with the heat. SPEAKING of "Heat"....James has been ADDICTED to the NBA Playoffs, especially watching and pre-recording all of the Miami Heat games. I usually don't care about sports, but some of this Lebron & DWade craziness has rubbed off on me.

Mahie is no longer my baby, but a toddler! Basically a little girl. She has embraced her independence which is limitless. If she wants to do something, she does it. At 13 and a 1/2 months, she communicates very well shaking her head, pushing things away, cupping her hands to say please, and the non-stop NEW dance moves that increase every day.
I found her randomly in the hall after church Sunday, rubbing her back against the wall :)
Since I'm at work every morning/day and some nights and James every evening, my Mom & Mahie have become best friends. We start our mornings together as a family with prayer, breakfast, changing clothes and brushing teeth. After that, Grandma goes straight into "School Time", where she has a specific corner of our family room set up for Mahie to learn....colors, shapes, books, blocks, rolling balls for coordination, and music time where she's beginning to learn primary songs for our ward's primary program in October. (Mahie will only be in Nursery at that time, but the little ones are included to sing with the older kids.) It's cute because she already recognizes "The Wise Man & Foolish Man" and starts to do the hand motions. Today Mahie learned to recognize A, B & C. When you say "A", Mahie will make the sound "ahh", lol, then "B" and she will sound out "buh, buh" and sometimes "brrrr" and "C" she will slightly say "cuhhhh". It  was so cute and she got so excited by our reaction. She can even do "M" and says "Mmmmma-ma". One day she found an old Photo Poly modeling picture of me, and ran to hand it to me saying "Mama", haha. On the flip side, we are STILL trying to teach her to have "nice hands", as in not to scratch/pinch people. We don't know why or how she learned to do it. We all have random scratches on our legs, arms and faces from her, no matter how short we cut her nails.*FYI we have stopped the bottle for 2 whole days, phew!

I've felt slight kicks for a couple weeks now, but recently they've increased to bigger movements. I still can't get over that I'm having a boy. For some reason I felt like I would have girl, after girl, after girl. I wonder how he will be? AND...how I will be? It was so easy and normal to treat Mahie, well like a girl, because I am one! I never had to think twice about dressing, speaking to, holding her, it has been a girl's dominated house for us. Things will change soon. But, my pregnancy with Mahie was crazy, and look, my firstborn turned out pretty crazy too! I love her, but Mahie is a rascal and pretty tough. THIS pregnancy with my boy however, has gone smoothly. (So far). Maybe he will come out as a total opposite of Mahie, aka CALM! Crazy-energetic or not, I'm grateful for my babies. Plus I'm thinking of channeling all of Mahie's adrenaline towards swimming lessons pretty soon at Gunstock and way later w/Gymnastics.

James is alive, I'm alive, and our babies are A-OK!

12 June 2012


We're on Instagram! 
And we're addicted, plus we get to visit with friends who are anti-Facebook. 
Follow us @kaiulani11

love, the aspinalls

06 June 2012

"Hunger Games Hangover" Challenge

On the Mummy Blog:

it's going to be a fun summer bookworms...

*FYI, I'm 19weeks & counting
little boy, little boy, oh boy, little boy

02 June 2012

Baby 2 Ultrasound

Mahie will be a Big Sister to her....


LITTLE BROTHER is healthy, active and on-time for Oct. 31st HALLOWEEN!
(I guess the blue dot in my last post below was giving us the silent heads up)