house tour ~ part one

and you all thought i was gone for good…..

not yet…..i’m still here.

I’ve been wanting to show you some updated photos of our place here on Kauai……

since it’s been a while…… we’ve done so much in the last year and a half to really make it

more like how we felt a beach home should suit us.

Creating a new style.

A style just for us.

In the last 1.5 years…..since we decided that Kauai was going to be our home for the time being….

i’ve been on the search for pieces that would define my style living on as island but not exactly doing

the whole island theme if you get my drift.

This condo was completely furnished and we are not really allowed to get rid of anything….

and over the last 1.5 years

{creating a style takes patience…..lots and lots of patience }

we’ve pretty much stored and shoved every piece of furniture

{other than the sofa’s and the kitchen chairs which we haven’t changed out yet}

in every single closet in this place and the open loft that is in the boys room…which is stuffed to the gills

with outdated lamps….nightstands….original kitchen table and so on and so forth.

Not an ounce of storage left……

but that is A-ok

because with it out of sight out of mind… has given me the push to style this place the way i wanted

and to make it feel like home to us.

Everything we have purchased for the place has either been

thrifted from one of the 5 thrift shops on the island

craigslist…..yard sale…..or gifted to us from friends….or i’ve made.

The only thing i’ve bought online…..were the living room rug and a hand painted sign…..

so with that being said……it is true… can furnish your place on a tiny budget and if you

can spare some time….you can do it without hitting any stores;-)


Our dining room table is the newest piece in the house…..

i’ve been wanting a farm table since the day we moved here.

I found it on Craigslist last week……it was listed for $500 which i thought was a great price for it…..

and considering i had gone into one of the only furniture shops on the island a few weeks ago

and found a farm table for twice the price……i knew i just had to have it.

i called and made an appt……and offered her $300.

She took it…..and the best part was…it came with the glass piece on top.

I had to pay a friends husband to pick it up for me….since it was on the other side of the island…

and now we have our farm table.

I celebrated with vodka.



That boat captains chair in the corner: yard sale

IMG_0119I made this hanging lamp out of a fishing net …..

Sofa table: Craigslist

Books: thrifted and yard sales

Driftwood sailboats: i made

This hand painted custom sign i had made from Between you and me

I painted the wall a turquoise….and the dresser is Craigslist.

I have yet to decide what color is at all i’m going to paint the dresser which stores

all the kids crapola and art/school supplies.

The rug below is the one i ordered….i bought it from Serena and lily.

The coffee table is made out of pallets……and hand made my a friend of mine.


The vintage arm chair in the corner is from a yard sale: $30.

One of the suitcases was given to me the other i found at a thrift shop.

The framed print of sea shells…..thrifted….and i painted the frame.

Plum curtains made for me by a friend.

The armoire that houses our tele and hides the kids crap…Craigslist….$40…

i kid you not.

I saw it pop up on Craigslist and sent bryan right over asap….

faster than you can say fine boxed wine.

It was listed for $50 but he offered $40……

they even helped him load it in the mini {van not cooper}

I painted it and called it a day.

This next photo is of our bedroom…..

i’ll be showing that on the next blog post;)


as well as this loft area which sits upstairs and is used by the kids.


Pumpkin blueberry bread


Years ago……and in another life….i had previously blogged this perfect Autumn recipe.

This morning we woke up and with the kids being on break from school all of this next week…..

they call it Fall Break around here…..

even though there isn’t a golden colored tree on the island….

this is still is one of our family favorites.

We had a long day yesterday on the south side of the island hanging out at the Hyatt hotel.

{aka: mini water park for the kids}

I aptly named yesterday a “Daycation”

a few well needed cocktails were had


Anyhoo……back to the bread.

This morning we woke up to rain and an overcast day so it just meant that i was going to make a few loaves

of pumpkin blueberry bread.


My kids love blueberries….but not necessarily in the pumpkin bread where on the other hand

the mister and i can mow through an entire loaf with blueberries faster than you can say

cloudy with a chance of sun.


The secret to the pumpkin bread is not the blueberries….

{which are optional of course}

but due to the fact that i use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or canola oil.

Of course if you don’t have coconut oil……you can substitute in what you have in your cupboard…..

but i if you’ve never used coconut oil before then i will warn you that it’s the best oil out there.

It is pricey.

Our costco carries it now……happy dance….but i highly suggest switching your oils if you can.

{healthier too… you can pat yourself on the back.



 p.s. No loaf pans??? Muffins work too. My kids love the mini ones. You can make one loaf and 2 dozen muffins.


17 miles

One of the perks of living in one of the most beautiful places in the world is that 

on any given day there is an adventure waiting to happen.


On our check list of “things we must do while living on Kauai” has been to kayak up the Napali coast.


Last year we swam a teeny tiny portion of it {you can read about it here}

and even though the swim was something i never really wanted to do……

i did it.

I probably won’t do it again

{call me chicken sheet if you want}

 i’m not a swimmer but there are things in life that you just can’t pass up on doing

because it gives you a notch on that tree of life that just proves you can conquer .

When and if that day comes that we leave our life here……..

i want to look back at it and smile that those were the days of our lives.

Like sands through the hourglass….

{raise of hands people on who watches that soap???}

I’m more of a Young and the Restless sort of groupie……if you must know.


tap tap tap

This year on our list of things to do was to kayak 17 miles up the Napali coast

two arms

open ocean

17 miles



{up above is Bryan’s super secret hand sign for get me out of here…asap}

do people actually WANT to do things like this???

We’ve seen the coast by boat……numerous times…..but to kayak it…..

holy sheet people….holy sheet.

The shop i work at a few nights a week shares it’s space with two guys who own Napali Kayak

a kayak company that will take the fool  people who actually wants to kayak the 17 miles up the coast.

I’m there working when the van pulls back in around 730 pm bringing back all the kayakers and their gear.

The people get off and high-five each other……showing off their blistered hands and proving that they could do it……

so why couldn’t i do it? 

I like blistered hands

I like high fiving people.

This last June my aunt, uncle and grown cousins came to Kauai to spend 2 weeks with us.

We did some amazing hiking….showed off the island and even talked them into doing the kayak trip with us.

The day before we were supposed to head out a northeastern swell came in and the wind picked up.

The guys cancelled two days of kayaking……and we were one of the cancellations.

oh thank you god

i prayed that day because deep down i really didn’t want to commit.

did i mention 17 miles

blistered hands

chapped lips

no vodka?

Fast forward to this last monday when i show up at work and all i could hear was how


the water conditions were going to be on wednesday.


My boss said it was going to be EPIC


The kayak guys said it was going to be EPIC


so i called bryan at home and asked him if he was feeling


and he said yeah.

I asked if he felt epic enough to want to kayak the coast the day after tomorrow and he said hell ya.

so i walked out and asked the guys what are the chances that us two could get in on that

EPIC wednesday kayak trip.

We were the last two openings they had… was meant to be.

so i went home and cried because i’m a sissy inside and needed to prepare my mind that we were really going to

do this and there was no backing out now.


my biggest fear really wasn’t that we were going to be lost at sea

or that there would be sharks

and i was really ok knowing that i would be so blistered that i would need a hand transplant one day

no….none of that really bothered me.

what really scared me was that i was going to do something that i wouldn’t be able to finish

that i would set myself up for failure.

What bothered me also was that we were going to be gone for 13 hours and i needed a crew of people

to take over the home front so that me and the mister could do something like this.

We had to be at the Kayak shop by 6 in the morning…which meant my kids were going to have to get up themselves

feed themselves

clothe themselves

maybe brush their teeth and god forbid should they possibly make their beds

but to get out the door and onto the bus without me there.

that is freaky

because we were going to be out in the ocean with no communication for 12 hours.

but i had friends in place to cover all the checking in and making sure no one was lost

or never made it on a bus.

It took a village….seriously……

it took 4 different friends and one babysitter to make sure all my kids

made it to where they had to be and so on and so forth.

good lordy

I had to have a cocktail just to figure out all the arranging.

but guess what

no one cried and no one got lost or left on a bus or anything.

{except for Fin who called a little after 630 to tell us he wanted us to come home…..

but i told him where the chocolate chips were and all was good in the world}



after we checked in at 6 am….we loaded up in the van with all the kayaks and headed up to Haena 

where we went over safety rules and all that good stuff.

There were 5 Kayaks all together……and that included one of the kayaks which had Annie who was our

fearless leader for the day.

One kayak had 2 locals who had done this before…….and the other two kayaks had tourists.

Each kayak had 2 people in it.


There is no way we could have done it solo

no way

no how

but that’s not to say it can’t be done.

When i tell you that the day was going to be EPIC …..the guys were right.


There are only a handful of days over the summer that the water is like glass and the wind is so light

you aren’t fighting it…..nor were there any swells…..which meant we were able to go into 



sea cave

and explore to our hearts delight.







About 12 miles into the adventure and right when you really think you might die

and your lips are getting chapped 

we pulled into Miloli’i beach for a picnic lunch.

We had a whole hour and a half to explore

or sleep

or sleep

or drink a cold beer that bryan stuck in our pack at the last minute

then sleep

before we had to load back up and finish the last 5 miles

two arms

open ocean

only 5 more miles to go.



we pushed off after lunch and about a mile into the last five….

we saw a little boat up ahead of us and the people were waving at us…

so of course i was all like

waving back at them

let’s go high five everyone a bit early but i’m down with it blistered hands and all

when we realized they weren’t waving at us for the hell of it….



they were waving at us to let us know there were 2 monk seals in the water playing

{wink wink}


very rarely does one ever see two of them…..

mostly they are alone and lying on the beach in the warm sand all happy

with no blisters or chapped lips.

 it was one of the highlights of the entire trip……


after that little display we knew we had to forge on…..

just a few more miles to go…..

and as you can see in the next photo…..some people started to poop out.

note to self: next time sit in the back so no one knows you aren’t paddling


and just as we were thinking we really couldn’t make that last two miles….

we rounded the corner ……the winds picked up

and i mean picked up so much so that the winds brought us right into view of our landing beach.

oh happy day


we all lined up and took turns coming in for the landing…..

and i would like to happily announce that we did not flip the kayak over once….




not climbing in and out while we were in the ocean

not coming in for the beach landing at Miloli’i  

and not coming in for our final landing at Polihale beach.

DSCF0110We did it.

17 miles of open sea kayaking up the Napali coast.

all 17 miles were so worth the blistered hands….

the chapped lips….

the shoulders that felt like a semi truck ran over them…..

the no vodka.

This was one of those times that we can look back on and know we did it together….as a team….

and we lived to talk about it.

We got out of the van after the 2.5 hour drive home and we all high fived each other….

like i knew we would…..

blisters and all.

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