It’s my baby brother’s birthday!


…Okay, he’s not really a baby anymore. He’s 14 today (what?!), but he’ll always be my baby brother in my eyes. When he was born, I was so excited because I could help my mom take care of a little person, which I thought was so cool. I remember how much I loved holding you, feeding you and watching your tiny fingers wrap around mine. I also remember the very first time I made you laugh, it warmed my heart and I’ll keep that memory with me forever.

To my baby brother, who teaches me to always put a smile on my face, who laughs at the little things, who shows love and concern for everyone. As I write this, you’re sitting in the next room laughing at the TV, and I still can’t believe how much time has passed, how many laughs have been laughed since the very first time you made that joyous noise. 


I remember your first date (although you still deny it), I’ll remember the struggles as you begin to define yourself. I know kids hate to hear it, but you’re growing up too fast. You’ve got your own path, you hold your own views, and although you drive me absolutely insane at times, I can’t help but smile when you’re around.


I remember the pain I felt in my chest when you hopped out of the car when we dropped you off for your first day of high school. You didn’t look back at the car as we sat there in the parking lot, but I never lost sight of you. My baby brother taking the strong steps toward independence as he began a new chapter in his life. I remembered thinking, “He’s all grown up now. He’s on his path, he’s a young man and he’s strong. He’s resourceful. He’s intelligent.”

I am so proud of you, so happy for you (… And I always will be)

Through thick and thin, good and bad, joy and pain, he’s been there with me.

You continue to inspire me each and every day, and I’m thankful to have you as my brother and my friend. I love you.

4 books and movies that will change the way you think

Lately I’ve been trying to find inspiration in many different things, whether it be my surroundings, people, books or movies. And I reached out to my trusty Twitter friends and they gave me so many recommendations, but I dwindled the list down to four really amazing books and movies. What are your favorite life-changing books or movies?


The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte — Are you chasing goals, or the feeling that achieving that goal will give you? This is the question that Danielle LaPorte seeks to answer in The Desire Map. It’s a holistic approach to life-planning that will help you to succeed in getting what you want out of life. It also has a bunch of self-assessments and fun quizzes inside to help you get to know yourself and your aspirations. Plus, Danielle is just plain adorable. If you don’t buy her book, at least go check out her website, she has a lot of inspirational and awesome articles and videos there.

eattolive Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman — You guys know how obsessed I am with health-related books. Well this one is really neat because it’s kind of like a diet/weight loss book, but instead of focusing on cutting out fattening foods, it focuses on introducing healthier alternatives. Thus, making the whole weight loss thing a lot easier, and in the process, your overall health is drastically improved. The “diet plan” is six weeks long, which is approximately the amount of time it takes the human brain to form a habit, and then the rest comes naturally. While Fuhrman calls this is a “diet,” it’s more of a lifestyle plan, because it focuses on implementing alternative methods to help you live your healthiest life.

food inc Food Inc — I always knew how food was made, where it came from and I’ve even seen a number of animals be killed for my dinner. But I’ll be honest, the first time I saw this movie I thought I was going to throw up. Not because I had seen animals being killed, but because I was so disgusted that people would treat animals in such a unnecessarily cruel manner. This movie exposes the truth behind the food industry, how animals are injected with hormones and chemicals, and a lot of graphic footage. I was grossed out. But this is something that isn’t covered by the mainstream media, in fact, it’s covered up and pushed under the rug. And although it’s kind of gross (and I didn’t eat meat for a while after watching it), I strongly recommend this movie.

fsndFat, Sick and Nearly Dead — This movie is my all-time favorite. Joe Cross is overweight and an avid steroid user due to his autoimmune diseases (just like me!), his doctors inform him that while his medications were working, it wouldn’t be long before his body completely shut down on him because of his deadly weight. His last resort: weight loss and consuming healthier foods in order for the body to begin healing itself. So he does, and he films it all. He trades his Bic Macs for an all juice diet and travels across country to interview others suffering from similar conditions. In the film, he embarks on the journey of self-healing and helping others get to their full potential as well. Incredible.

The ‘Oil Change Diet’


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you get sick? Medicine. Cough drops. Doctors. It’s very rare that we ever think about changing our diets to improve our overall health. Here’s where Emile Lores comes in. Lores is a doctor specializing in alternative medicine, and after many years of suffering from various diseases, he crafted this diet to help those of us whose bodies just aren’t responding to traditional medicine anymore.

The basic idea behind this diet is to increase the intake of omega-3 oils (walnuts, salmon, brussel sprouts, etc.) and decrease the intake of omega-6 oils (vegetable oil, flour, pastas, etc).

Whether you want to lose weight or decrease the inflammation in your body, the Oil Change Diet will help you to achieve those goals by limiting the bad and increasing the good. It’s obvious that in order to lose weight, we have to consume less fats, more vegetables and drink lots of water. However, very seldom do we pay attention to any of these unless we’re experiencing a life-threatening issue (ie., lupus, autoimmune diseases, cancer).

The thing I like the most about Dr. Lores’ book is that he includes a lot of helpful recipes. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I pick up a health/diet book, one of the most helpful things is the recipes because they steer me in the right direction when it comes to preparing food and maintaining portion control.

I have been following a diet very similar to this since I graduated from college, and I have noticed a huge difference in my overall health. I haven’t had a lupus flare in two months, I have a lot more natural energy and I’ve been in a much happier, carefree mood.

Just remember what your mom taught you:

You are what you eat. And if you eat junk, you’ll be junk. If you eat healthily, you’ll be healthy. Make good choices, and the rest comes easily. 

If you’re interested in taking a look at Dr. Lores’ book, it can be purchased here. And if you want to talk with me about my health, how I’ve changed my diet, or anything else, comment below or feel free to send me an email, I’d be more than happy to help!


Café Monday: Christopher Poindexter

I’ll be honest, there were absolutely no creative juices flowing through me this weekend, so instead of forcing some prose, today I want to share one of my favorite writers with you.

Christopher Poindexter is among my favorite writers for a few reasons. First, he strings his words together in such a way that makes me fall in love with the English language all over again, and I didn’t even think that was possible. Second, he presents his poems to the world via typewriter, which as you guys know, I’m obsessed with typewriters. And lastly, I adore his lifestyle, everything he stands for and his relationship with his girlfriend is something I admire so, so much. I’ll post a few of his poems here, but I strongly suggest you check out the rest of his work on his blog, Instagram and Etsy shop.

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Have a great Monday!

Photos: A really, really laid-back week (thankfully!)

Hey guys! I feel like this week really flew by! Didn’t I just post my weekly photos like yesterday??? In all seriousness, this was a good week. I didn’t have anything planned, yet I got a lot done and had a lot of time to reflect and really enjoy my surroundings. How was your week?

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Sunday night, my family and I went to the woods and we ate dinner, which was really neat. It was chilly for Maui (around 68 degrees!) and as the sun went down, the sky turned this lovely shade of lilac!

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Earlier in the week, we moved out of our beach house so there were lots of boxes, trash bags and hidden treasures, like this dreamcatcher we found in my dad’s old office. When I was really small, I used to go to Vegas a lot with my grandparents (weird, I know), but along the way there were lots of little Native American shops full of lucky rabbit’s feet, arrowheads and, you guessed it, dreamcatchers. I’ve always had a little infatuation with them, because I’ve always believed they really worked. If you hang it above your bed, it’ll catch the bad dreams and nothing bad will happen to you. While it may all be in your head, there’s something about them that I really want to be true, so alas, there’s a dreamcatcher hanging on my wall now.

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You guys know I have an addiction to acai, so I was over the moon when I found Sambazon being sold at Costco! These single-serving packets are perfect for home-made smoothies or bowls, but they can also be eaten as popsicles, how fun!

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My backyard is a little bit of a jungle, how lucky am I?

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Yesterday I went to Paia Flatbread, which is an incredible pizza place on Maui. They only use local, organic ingredients and it’s so yummy!

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I ended my week with a trip to the beach. There’s something so soothing about taking photos of the waves crashing along the shore, I could do it for hours — and I do!

I hope you guys have a great Sunday!

Blog Love — Posts I adored this week

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Hey guys! It’s finally Friday! Surprisingly, I had a lot of time to read other blogs this week (what?!) I know, this never happens. And a lot of my favorite bloggers posted some neat stuff, so I’m really excited to share them with you today. Also, I’m thinking of making this a weekly series! What are your favorite blogs?


The 3 Travel Experiences That Changed My Perspective On Life


Can we just talk about how perfect of a life this is? Brooke, the gal behind World of Wanderlust spends her life traveling, writing and living. Isn’t that the whole point of life? To actually live? This post really opened my eyes to how important travel is to living a full life. Get to know your surroundings, your earth, everything. Soak it in, because when you’re gone, you’re gone. So live it up while you can.


How To Create A Small Workspace In A Tiny Home


If you follow my Pinterest, you’ll notice that gaudy kitchens and minimalist workspaces (like these ones) are the only things I pin. I’m so infatuated with interior design, so anything along those lines completely capture my attention. I often daydream different ways I’d want to decorate my home office, I’m so excited to finally have a home of my own that I can make completely mine. Anyway, Yara, the blogger behind Chapter Friday, posts a lot of neat DIYs and informative posts that I love, but this one is so perfect because it brings all my Pinterest fantasies to life.



A Week In Mykonos


I love Greece. Do I need to say more? This post is perfect in every single way possible because it encapsulates everything that makes Greece unique and beautiful, and it just makes me want to hop on a plane and stay forever. Garance is an incredible photographer, to say the least.



How To Relax (a.k.a. The Busy Bee’s Guide To Switching Off)


I have the worst time with this one, so this post was/is perfect for me! I don’t know how to switch off, I’m always doing something, always busy, always thinking. Vivianna’s tips are super helpful for the busy bee in all of us.




I hope you enjoyed this post, and found some new bloggers to fall in love with! Have a great, beautiful, fantastic Friday!

What’s in my beach bag?

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Since I live in Hawaii, I go to the beach a lot. So what do I bring with me? Obviously, I don’t bring a lot of unnecessary things… Just the basics will do. Here’s what I can’t live without at the beach:

  1. A large towel, or in my case a tapestry. I honestly can’t remember where I purchased this, but I know it was someplace online and it was $10!
  2. Water, water, water. At the beach, you’re going to be in the sun, sweating and you’re bound to get dehydrated. So bring a lot of water with you, your body will thank you.
  3. Sunscreen/Tanning oil. I’ll admit, I don’t wear sunscreen as often as I should (I normally don’t wear any at all! I know this isn’t good for the skin, but I’ve slowly started using more!) Since I have oily and sensitive skin, I use Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer in SPF 100. As for tanning oil, I swear by Hawaiian Tropic’s Dark Tanning Oil, because it never burns my skin, and my tan always lasts a lot longer than if I tan without an oil.
  4. Phone. This is obvious… How else will I listen to music and/or Instagram?! But really, I take all my photos on my iPhone, so I take this baby everywhere.
  5. Something to read. I started reading this book a while ago, but I just started reading it again and I’m loving it! It’s about a woman’s travels from the U.S. to India, and she’s hilarious.
  6. Slippers (Or as you may call them: flip flops). How else would you go to the beach? Sneakers? Please…
  7. Something to put it all in. A beach bag… I mean, duh. I got this one at Target last summer, so they may not have it now, but I’m sure you can find a similar one elsewhere.

That’s all I bring to the beach with me! What do you bring to the beach with you?