fresh almond milk.

Fresh Almond Milk

2 cup soaked almonds

8 cups filtered water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 dash sea salt

Soak almonds 8-12 hours. Be sure to cover them in plenty of water, they will grow a bit in size. Once soaked, rinse almonds and repeat.  Plop nuts in blender and pour in water. Blend until creamy.  Strain thru a nut bag (steel strainer or even and old t-shirt works). Squeeze ground nuts to extract all the milk. Add vanilla and salt for flavor. May also be sweetened with maple syrup or honey. * Keep ground almond meal for muffins, brownies, or add them pancakes!

homemade laundry detergent.

A chore that never seems to end: laundry!  I enjoy starting the washer, the smell of laundry detergent, and folding the clothes into neat little piles.  I somehow get lost in the exchange from the washer to the dryer and the process of opening drawers to put the laundry away.  There is a saying, “how you do one thing is how you do everything”.  With that in mind I guess you could say I like to start something and see the finish, but somehow put off the middle part.  Ahh, I am having some clarity now why my towels always smell moldy!

Enough with the deep stuff, lets talk about ways to make laundry fun again.

1. hire someone to do it for you

At the laundry mat they charge per pound…I once paid $60 to have 4 loads washed and folded, only problem was I couldn’t find some one to put them away.

2. buy new clothes every time yours get dirty

I had a boyfriend that would buy new underwear on the weekly!

3. have lots of kids, wait till they are old enough to do it all themselves

This is my excuse when people ask me if I am going to have more kids. I tell them when Mai can fold her own laundry I will think about it. 

4. compost them

My friend leaves them in big piles in his garage.  They stay there for months, decaying into compost. Kinda stinky.

5. make your own laundry detergent!

It like a cool science experiment every time you make a batch!

What you need to make homemade laundry detergent:

1 Bar of soap (Dr. Bronner’s or Ivory for sensitive skin)

1 cup Borax

2 cups Washing Soda or Baking Soda

Bucket with a lid

3 gallons H2O, plus 2 cups for dissolving soap

Note: finding Washing Soda was a problem that I ran into living on a remote island. A solution that I found and is more cost effective, was to make my own Washing Soda.

Making Washing Soda:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place baking soda in an oven-safe pan. Bake for 40-60 minutes.

I am not a chemist, but thru some simple research I found that there is a chemical reaction that takes place when the Baking Soda is heated.  The product is a “fluffy in texture” powder called Washing Soda.

How to make homemade laundry detergent:

1. Over stove top heat 2 cups of water.  Cut or grate (1) bar of soap into heated water. Stir until dissolved.

2. Measure 1 cup Borax & 2 cups Washing Soda into bucket.  Add melted soap.  Cover with 2 gallons of warm water.

3. Stir Borax, Washing Soda, Soap and H2O together in bucket. Wait 24 hours.

After 24 hours the liquids will turn into a slimy gel.   Stir detergent around with each use. Measure 1 cup for each load if you have a top loader. Use 1/2 cup for HE machines without hesitation.

This recipe is better for the skin, the Earth, and the pocket book. Total cost per batch (3 gallons) is roughly $2.75, with Mainland prices being cheaper.

sunday funnies with mai.

Maile recently turned four (yikes how time flies!) and continues to say the funniest things.  This girl has got me wrapped around her finger like no other.  Her latest line is, “Guess how much I love you”.  Then she prompts for the response with, “come on, say how much?”.  So I indulge, “How much?”.  She replies with her arms stretched as wide as her little limbs allow, “THIS MUCH!”. She will ask this line more than 5 times a day!

“I like every color smoothies”

Some funny Maile-isms:

“The sunset makes the sun happy”

What makes you happy? “umm, chocolate, strawberries, horses, people, and hotels”

“I love and like you”

“I am the happiest little girl in the world!”

“Your heart is gonna cry if you don’t let me hug you on more time”

“Lasterday” her version of yesterday

“I don’t care if I am crazy”

“You have to be brave to go in a crocodile’s mouth”

“Boogers taste like chicken”

“I got moves and you got moves. I’ll show you my moves”

“My tummy is delighted”

just another average day at the park.

To be continued…

“friends don’t let friends…”

Photo: SoHa Living (Kahala Mall)

‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping. ” -Bo Derek

When I am with friends or by myself I like to indulge in the simply pleasure of shopping or eating out.  I do have a certain criteria when performing such acts though…buy local, eat local.  To me there is nothing better than supporting the community I live in (which happens to be a whole island of Oahu)!

I was recently on a shopping excursion with a friend, when I found some great local goods and a new awareness…  In reflecting upon the rad things I purchased, I realized the most fun I had during the trip was in my connection with the people behind the counter. Simply stopping to be present and look the sales associate in the eye, opened the space for a deeper connection.

How one person or group of people can put everything on the line to open a shop or restaurant is inspiring. The passion these owners put into their work makes my heart beat for more. More of what they got.If there was an exceptionally splendid local spot you visited lately, tell someone. This simple referral is networking’s most powerful tool.

Some recent stops I would like to honor:

Soha Living (Kahala Mall): home interior, cool gifts, great ideas

*Extra Special- one of a kind home accessories (like a dish dispenser made from a vintage glass jar)

Milieu (Waipahu next to Costco): designer clothes (new and used), jewelry, books

*Extra Special- Rylee the owner has a three year old and caters to “moms that shop” with a cute kid center full of your child’s favorite toys!

hiking in the jungle.

Today I enjoyed a easy to moderate hike into Moanalua Valley.  I highly recommend the trail for those seeking a mellow adventure straight into the womb of nature.

The trail is well marked and there are informational signs along the way that tell stories of the valley’s rich history. I will definitely be heading back soon to hear the birds sing, and the winds sing softly in my ear…

For more details on this hike, island hiking and inspirational photos please visit Island Trails (click me) by Kaleo Lancaster.

Driving Directions: Head West on the H-1 freeway and take the Exit-2 for Moanalua Red Hill. Take a right to reach the Ala Aolani Street, and drive straight into the Moanalua.

fennel and beets.

This week we got fennel and beets in our CSA (community supported agriculture) box from Kahumana Farms.  Since there are really only two seasons in Hawaii (wet and dry) we are able to grow vegetables and other sorts of fruits that you may have to wait till fall to get.

Fennel (click here to view some neat facts)  is a crisp herb with a taste that resembles licorice.  Alone the flavor can be strong, but when combined with other ingredients it becomes subtle.  The whole plant is edible.  I use the bulb for salads or roasting and the stalk in soups like “cream of broccoli soup”.  One cup of this refreshing stalk equals 20% of your daily vitamin C, it is also an inflammatory.

Beets (click to read more) are a root that have a deep red coloring.  Just like fennel the whole plant is edible.  Beet greens are great sauteed and have a soft texture for a leafy green.  Beets can also be juiced and are really high in antioxidants and superb for detoxify the body. I like to grate the beet bulb raw into salads, steam ’em, or roast ’em.   You will find beets at high end restaurants paired with lamb or other divine entrees.


Fennel and Beet Salad

3 large beets

1 fennel bulb

3-6 oz of goat cheese

1-2 tbs. of fresh squeezed orange

2 tbs. of olive oil

salt & pepper to taste


*Cut the tops of the beets (save the greens for later cooking) and leave the skin on.  Cover with water on the stove top. Bring to a boil and let cook for 15 minutes or so.  You will know the beets are done when you can pierce smoothly with a fork.  To remove skins place under cool running water. Cube the warm beets. Chop fennel into bite size pieces.  Add goats cheese to the beet and fennel mixture. NOTE: if you do this while the beets are warm you will get a creamy texture. Or if you like to taste the goat cheese more, mix together when the beets have cooled.  Then, add your orange juice (fresh), olive oil, salt and pepper. Walaah a colorful side salad to accompany any dish.

Warning:  don’t be alarmed if you pee red the next day! This is from the betalain pigments in the beets.