Entries Tagged as 'Holidays'

Missing the Christmas Lights Already

LED lights in 7-11For those whose churches are on the Julian calendar (aka the old calendar), December 25th was actually celebrated on Monday, January 7th. It was nice to walk into the Moiliili 7-11 and still see little Christmas trees still on their counter.

The little trees were actually made out of LED lights. I have been admiring these lights for a long time. Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t even come close to how beautiful those little lights were sitting on the counter! I thanked them for still having them up. They think I’m crazy but, so what else is new?!? 🙂

Those lights are actually safer and more durable than the incandescent lights we’re used to. They also won’t break into sharp pieces of glass when your kitty decides to bite them. I’ve been most impressed by the other safety feature — they don’t get too hot. At least that way they won’t set dry trees on fire so easily!

In spite of the fact that they’re cooler to the touch, they’re still brighter than the kind we’re used to. Here’s a better example of what they really look like. The picture I took doesn’t show that brightness very well but do keep in mind that they were still beautiful, even in a fully lit 7-11 store! Those lights would be cool to line a walkway. Sometimes I wish I had a house just for reasons like this. I wouldn’t pound them with a hammer the way I saw someone doing on television — they’re not cheap — but I wouldn’t worry about driving over them in a driveway either!

Maybe the hallway at home would be an option… so we don’t step on something in the middle of the night. Of course if they’re that durable, it would hurt a lot to step on them in the middle of the night. I spoke too soon… we could get some of the rope light variety with “durable, flexible” plastic covering. I wonder how thick that plastic coating is. Of course if they’re lit, why would I step on them? I like the blue ones! They look so serene and restful. I would like to have that kind of color cast in the room and hallway overnight. They last longer and use less electricity too. I think they would pay for themselves in no time! Cool gift idea for anyone with a house — not only for the holidays but for added safety.

Happy New Year Honolulu!

New Year's FireworksLast night we thought about going out and then we thought about just staying home and then we thought we might drive around. We just didn’t know what we were going to do or what we wanted to do.

At first we thought we would be going to Aloha Tower but we changed our minds. We ended up behind the Ilikai Hotel, by the lagoon behind the Hilton Hawaiian Village, to watch the fireworks.

We had a much better view than we had last year from Magic Island.

More fireworks

The fireworks were beautiful and we were glad we made it there to see them! We’ll try Aloha Tower next year. 🙂

There was quite a crowd of people and there were voices talking behind us saying, “Go Warriors!” Obviously we weren’t alone. I had my UH t-shirt on!

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou, Hawaii! May this new year be safe, happy and prosperous for us all!

I love that these lights let off some green smoke! Happy New Year and Go Warriors!

Great Aloha Run, 2008

Bird taking a floral drinkFebruary 18, 2008! I’m excited! I love this event! I talked about the 2007 Great Aloha Run at the beginning of the year. My biggest problem is that I now compare every other running event to this one. That’s very unfair for me to do because the others pale in comparison.

I’ve already signed up. If you have n0t signed up yet and you want to participate, you’ve still got time to sign up — either online or by printing out the form and mailing it in. If you forget, you can always sign up at the Expo that will be at Neal Blaisdell Center on February 15th, 16th and 17th!

Active.com sends great emails if you sign up for them. They sent one recently with this neat little advertisement for personal reflectors, pouches to tie to your shoes, ID bracelets and all kinds of useful things. I have my eye on three of the items they have.

Firefly Safety ReflectorI thought about it and these would be great for anyone exercising in the evening or in the rain.

They’re good for runners and bicyclists as well! For the record, I checked with HPD and it’s okay to wear those little blue lights, as long as it’s not on your motor vehicle! 🙂

Honolulu Fire Boat

There’s nothing more heart warming than this wonderful scene. The morning sky is lighting up, we’re singing the Star Spangled Banner and the Honolulu Fire Boat is sending a watery salute to the participants of this much-anticipated, annual event. It’s all about the aloha!


  • Early Entry with Training T-shirt $35 until 12/2
  • Regular Entry $35 until 1/19 then $40 until 2/2
  • Register at GAR Expo, Feb. 15 – 17, NBC Exhibition Hall $45, Cash Only
  • Keiki (5-12 yrs)/Seniors Entry $25
  • Child under 5 yrs in Stroller Entry $5

Run, walk, it doesn’t matter! This is a community event like no other. (Okay, okay, I’ll give up that position to the UH Warriors, but aside from that…) 🙂 Not into running or walking but still want to get involved? They’re looking for volunteers!

Come on you guys! It’ll be fun! Community participation was high last year and I’m sure it will be again!

Manana Elementary Goes Christmas Caroling

Adults picking up after the kidsI decided to step outside for a little bit for some fresh air the other day and I heard little voices singing. Then I saw all the signs of that group of keiki who find their way to the downtown area every year — a whole bunch of clothing for changes and a few teachers and chaperons (probably volunteer parents) fixing the clothes and straightening things up after the last series of changes.


The Manana Elementary School Children’s Choir, Na Keiki ‘O Manana, went Christmas caroling in downtown Honolulu last week and I was lucky enough to stumble right into the middle of it!

Still other parents were admiring the young performers and standing proudly by while business people and passers by enjoyed the music and pretty costumes.

Different children took part in little skits while the choir sang some traditional Christmas tunes and other tunes that had been written especially for them. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday Evenings in Downtown Honolulu

Bishop Square and its pools of waterI have to admit that downtown Honolulu, at dusk, is a place where people start to watch their back as they move through the darkening streets on their way home or on the way to their cars or the bus.

At Christmas time, things change just a little. Bishop Square at 1001 Bishop Street is one of my favorite spots. As early as mid-October, there are people with trucks and mechanical lifts who start wrapping the trees in beautiful red, green and clear lights. After working all day and leaving for home around sunset, somehow the site of something quietly festive provides a sense of security. I can’t quite explain it, obviously. 🙂

Bishop Square at sundown

Some of the trees remain lit the same color while others alternate between red and green making this simple-sounding display quite a sight once the evening shadows have started to fall.

The best part of it all is that the landscape of Bishop Square is sprinkled with a variety of man-made pools of standing water that reflect those beautiful lights and add even more to the magic and whimsicality of it all.

Bishop Square just after sundown

Maybe I’m just weird but I look forward to this little part of the annual Christmas displays that appear around Honolulu’s business and municipal districts every year. The businesses may still have staff who are working while others may be having their Christmas parties elsewhere. But, this little square is just peaceful to watch as the lights change colors and sparkle off the water just after sundown.

It’s a Carnival by Canoe!

Christmas Canoe Paddle

Welcome to Chapter 4 of the Carnival of Aloha!

Let’s take our festive canoe paddle and do the Carnival circuit via canoe this month. That way we can take a nice leisurely cruise as we enter into December.

We need to acknowledge Thanksgiving just because it’s a very important holiday for all of us. We have a lot to be thankful for and I want to take this time to thank all of the bloggers for wanting to participate in our monthly Carnival of Aloha and to thank all of the readers who want to join us and share a little touch of aloha! You guys are the ones who make this all possible!

While we’re giving thanks, let’s join Lynn as she shares a great Thanksgiving story with us…

Lynn Vasquez tells us all about “KauKau Wagon’s Annual Thanksgiving Saturday” when she shares, Many Came ~ Many Were Fed ~ All Were HAPPY!” posted at Auntie Pupule. It takes a certain kind of person with a good heart to get herself involved in these things on a regular basis. Thanks, Auntie, for reminding us, once again, just what sharing the aloha is all about.

There are other people who need to be a little thankful right about now…

Lika presents Racist, me? posted at Lika’s Log. Some people have a lot to be thankful for and I think Mr. Chapman should be thankful that this topic is no longer at the top of the media’s list! Nice job, Lika, of explaining just how we are about ethnic name dropping. We use it all the time and The Dog was right… it’s just how we talk! Although most of us do avoid the “N” word.

Aside from the Dog’s verbal slip, there have been many points of contention recently and none smaller than the Hawaii Superferry! Did anyone keep a diary? Um, a web log? Mel did!

Mel presents Mel’s Internet Universe Weblog with Superferry-specific posts posted at Mel’s Internet Universe Weblog, saying that this link, “covers recent posts I did on the Hawaii Superferry. By the time the Dec. Carnival of Aloha is published, the ferry should be up and running.” Thanks, Mel, for keeping track for us and for sharing it all here!

Let’s keep the sense of humor alive that Lika started…

L.P. “NEENZ” FALEAFINE presents LAUGHTER. posted at INFINITY., saying, “A sense of humor in Hawaii is as essential as suntan lotion.” I like that line — very true! Neenz is always thoughtful and this post is no exception.

Since Lika seems to be the key to keeping this canoe moving, and since she mentioned Waipahu in her post, let’s welcome Karin to the islands, to the Carnival and into our festive canoe as she also finds her way over to the Leeward side of Oahu…

Karin Gallagher presents Go Ahead And Get Your Coffee, This Here’s A Long One posted at Double Duty Diary: Twice the Angst in Half the Time. Karin lets us know that, “This is my first submission to the carnival of aloha” as she takes us to Hans L’Orange Field to enjoy our minor league baseball!

Now I’m thinking about those hot dogs that Karin told us about! I’m hungry so let’s go get some good sweets…

Sheila has some Hula Pie! Oh my! that she posted at her Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com. I think we should get some of that! It must be good because Sheila says, “My mouth is watering just thinking back about this pie. As my dad would say in one of his old-timers, Southern sayings, ‘It tastes so good it will make your tongue slap your brains.’ :-)”

This pie is on Kaua’i… it is so decadent we need some exercise now! Let’s join Andy, our hiking enthusiast, on his camping trip…

Andy Kass presents Salt Pond Surprises posted at A Kaua’i Blog. Andy always gets the best pictures! It’s great to see one of our monk seals basking in the sun and enjoying a little peace and quiet. Okay, that’s not much exercise for us is it?

While we’re at it, let’s check in with our other endangered beach dweller…

Cheryl presents the Best Big Island Hawaii Beaches to See Turtles in Natural Environment posted at Hawaii Vacation Gifts Blog – Hawaiian Blog. Cheryl has a knack for finding the best links to compliment her posts. I strongly recommend following those links just to see what she saw while sharing her passion with us.

Okay, we’re island hopping again. We weren’t done with Kaua’i yet. Let’s head back to Kaua’i and stop at Maui on the way back. All of this canoe paddling is making me hungry again…

Jamie presents Cheap Eats in Maui posted at Go Maui Card Blog, saying, “A guide to cheap eats in Maui!” Cheap is good, I like cheap… almost as much as I like food!

We return to Kaua’i to paddle down the river…

Pua presents Best Things to Do on Kauai – Wailua River Tour posted at Best Hawaii Vacation with Hawaii Vacation Blog, saying, “Best Things to do on Kauai Vacation” I didn’t know about this river — that’s a lot of water!

We’ve given thanks and moved down the river and back out into the ocean where we are about to welcome winter, or at least our version of it…

Susan Johnston brings us back to Oahu at Go Oahu Travel Blog » Blog Archive » Winter Surfing on Oahu’s North Shore posted at Go Oahu Card Blog, telling us about the “Winter Surfing on Oahu’s North Shore.” How did we get winter and surfing into the same sentence? As we very often say around here when things don’t sound quite right, “Only in Hawaii!”

Let’s dry off and go enjoy some artistic creativity…

Skeet took the time to share A Day at the Theatre over at her blog, Skeet’s Stuff, and quite a day it was! The topic of grave diggers and bones has never been so charming! There’s just something about meeting other bloggers in person that can make a day great!

I’ve been lucky to meet two of our blogging ladies in person. Just before meeting up with Skeet to spend “a day at the theatre,” I dropped by Lynn’s Lair and was equally delighted to talk story and share thoughts and stories with her. I’m thankful for these meetings too!

For those of you with family or friends on the mainland, or for those of you on the mainland with family or friends over here, it might be helpful to keep track of the Christmas shipping dates…

Angie over at True Aloha has given us Key Mailing Dates from Hawaii. This is something useful to print and tack up on the refrigerator! We’re heading into the yuletide season gang!

Let’s wrap up these Carnival rides and our canoe excursion with the State of Hawaii’s best ride of the month…

Evelyn at Homespun Honolulu (that’s me) had to tell the World, just one more time, that They Did It! BCS! BCS! BCS! I’m sorry guys but all other blog posts that I might have pulled in for this Carnival had to take a back seat to the UH Warriors! I was going to share the shopping post but the greatest gift was the one given to all of us, and to the University of Hawaii, by the Warrior football team!

That’s it for Chapter 4 of the Carnival of Aloha. Be sure to submit your blog article for Chapter 5 of the Carnival of Aloha using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. If you’re new, guidelines can be found here.

Let’s Go Christmas Shopping!

Christmas Wreath Hawaiian Style

Black Friday is over and for those who weren’t able to get to the malls either because you had to work, or because you were just burnt out from Thanksgiving the day before, or because you were anxiously awaiting that nail-biter of a football game between the UH Warriors and the Boise State Broncos, relax! It’s Cyber Monday… and cyber all week long!

The fact that you’re reading this at all is probably a good indicator that you may be one of those people, like me, who avoids the big shopping malls altogether and goes to specialty shops, shops at Ross, watches QVC, or just shops online… whenever possible!

Whatever the case, I’ve decided to make a little page with shopping ideas for you to do your Christmas shopping! Let me make this clear, I would NOT have a business listed here if I did not trust the products or services that these vendors provide and/or if I had not experienced them for myself before telling you how wonderful they are.

What follows below is the start of our Shopping Page. We will build on it as we are able. Happy shopping, or at least browsing! 🙂

Christmas garlandHawaii vacation Gifts Logo

I can’t even begin to tell you about the variety of stuff that Hawaii Vacation Gifts sells. The scents are wonderful, the body products don’t cause itching or other skin irritations, and the customer service is “on it!”

HVG’s artistic creator has become a good blogging pal and I became a small customer of her products.I was lucky enough to receive a bit more than I ordered in my package so I know what I’m talking about. I have tried other similar products but have been left cold and unimpressed. There’s no unpleasant residual left behind from these products — neither in feel or in scent.

Go ahead and browse around the site and check out the products she has to offer! Everything from a bar of soap to an entire gift basket and more! Wait until you get to touch and smell her soy candles! They are clean and fragrant and they just feel good when you hold them! It’s weird, I know, but I like keeping them around just to smell them… without even burning them. They really do smell that good.

This is not the usual tourist keepsake place you find in Waikiki — this is the real thing! The products are designed and made here and not mass produced.

Visit Hawaii Vacation Gifts’ blog too!

Christmas Garland

Ninja Blog Setup Logo How about giving a Ninja for Christmas?

A thought went through my head while I was reading something by our next gift idea. This little guy will let you give a blog as a gift! As I was reading it suddenly dawned on me, “What an awesome gift!” As much as we bloggers love our blogs, I think we can all vouch that this would be something awesome to receive, especially for someone who loves to write but doesn’t have one yet!

Not only is this a great gift idea, it is extremely cost effective! In fact, they will do it all for free! All you need to do is sign up for hosting with one of their partner links. Hey, you would have to pay for that part anyway. The most effective way to tell you about this gift, is to get it straight from the horse’s mouth… excuse me, the Ninja’s mouth.

Here’s where I tell you the best part of this gift suggestion. I know and trust this vendor and have worked closely with him for nearly a year. This “Ninja” comes with my highest of recommendations! Interested? You’ve got to at least be curious! Read on!

Ninja Blog Setup

We setup and configure blogs. It’s our goal to provide professional WordPress blogs without you having to even think about all the technical details.

A step by step overview

  1. You fill out a simple form to give us the information we need to setup your blog
  2. A Ninja will begin your blog setup including:
    • creating a professional email address for your blog (eg. yourname@yourblog.com)
    • testing your new email address
    • creating WordPress.com account for you so you can use the Akismet Spam protection plugin
    • creating a FeedBurner account for you so you can take advantage of FeedBurner stats with your RSS feed
    • installing WordPress on your hosting count and domain name
    • configure WordPress:
      • increase the size of the post writing box – makes writing posts much easier
      • setup search engine friendly URLs (permalinks) – more traffic
      • add a complete list of services to the ping list – tells various websites every time you write a story
      • install a robots.txt file – secures your WordPress admin pages from search engine spiders
      • create your user account within WordPress – so you have access to write and administer your site
      • delete the standard links (blogroll) that are included in WordPress
    • install and activate over 20 essential WordPress plugins ( see list of plugins )
    • setup an automatic WordPress database backup to be delivered weekly via email
    • install over 50 theme choices so you can easily change the look and feel of your site (see the themes)
  3. We’ll mail you all the details of your installation including a short roadmap of optional configurations that you may want to setup.
  4. You’ll receive a video guided tour of the WordPress administration area so you can easily learn your way around.

That’s it. From your point of view, you just fill out the form, and about 24 hours later, login and start blogging on a fully configured WordPress blog.

You can get started by signing up for hosting with one of our partner links:


Or if you already have hosting or would like to use a different company, you can contact us to inquire about rates and other options.

What did I tell you? Is that an awesome gift idea or what?

Christmas Garland

Not exactly what you had in mind? How about something a little simpler? How about a t-shirt, or several t-shirts… the kind with attitude! These are as homegrown as you’re going to find and you can’t get them in a regular store.I went looking for Pure Breed Clothing Company because I was so sure they actually had a store in Mapunapuna. I don’t know where I got that idea, ’cause they don’t.

Pure Breed Clothing Company

But, they do have a website. In addition, Henry, Christine and their three adorable children will be attending several shows and fairs between now and Christmas.

Pure Breed Family

Here’s the schedule that I have been made aware of:

  • 12-1 at Hilo High School fair
  • 12-2 at Castle High School fair
  • 12-8 at Moanalua High School fair
  • 12-8 also at Aiea Elementary School fair
  • 12-14 to 12-16 at gift fair at the Blaisdell Center

Go ahead and attend some craft fairs! While you’re there, look for the Pure Breed banner, pick up the perfect shirt to match that friend or family member with all that attitude, and cross a few more names off that list!

Christmas Garland

Electronic items always make good gifts! But, who do you trust? Where do you shop? I found one! I finally faced up to the fact that my computer needed more RAM or I wasn’t going to ever get out from under the software shutdown problems I was having.

The problem was that my computer is “old” by industry standards and, get this, they have stopped making the memory upgrades!

There were two companies online that had the memory that would fit and work in my computer. I couldn’t get through to a live body on the phone, but I was left with the option to have my call returned. Only one company, Edge Tech Corp, returned my call. Therefore, they got my business and my recommendation!

Their shipping was quick and the product has made me and my computer friends again. So, I list them here because they’ve got memory and they’ve got neat stuff too!

Their customer service was excellent and they have a lot of Cool Tech Gadgets and Free Shipping too! 


Edge Tech Corp has “all the tools needed to promote memory upgrades, digital media cards, flash memory devices, portable hard drives, and other technology gifts and gadgets.” In other words, they have toys in all price ranges!

  • Memory for desktops, laptops, printers, servers ($15 to $2,000+)
  • Digital Camera Flash Memory Cards ($15 – $190)
  • Digital Memory Card Readers ($20 to $35)
  • MP3 Players and Digital Music Accessories ($21 – $65)
  • Portable Hard Drives ($100 – $360)
  • USB Flash Drives ($18 – $190)
  • Technology Gifts and Gadgets ($40 – $230)

Christmas GarlandBringing the shopping back home again, we have to be sure and mention these worker bees! You guys know how I fell in love with these bees! I could not make a shopping list and fail to mention the glory of these honey makers for the Christmas holidays.

Honey with tea and crackers

Volcano Island Honey Company is a great place for gifts ideas and for the Christmas dinner table as well. Here we have the unusual gifts for the people who look at things a little differently than we do.

Deadline Reminder: Carnival of Aloha, Chapter 4!

Aloha Tower viewed from Pacific Guardian CenterThis is the one-week reminder and a message to readers. The deadline for submissions for the Carnival of Aloha is next Wednesday, November 28th. If you have a story about Hawaii because you live here, or some adventure to share from the last time you were here visiting, submit it and share your story with us!

When the Carnival of Aloha first started out, I never imagined that it would accomplish as much as has. This is only the 4th Chapter we’re about to publish on Monday, December 3rd, but it has already brought many of us together. A lot of us have met bloggers we never even knew existed! We have been shown things that we didn’t know about or never fully understood. I’m speaking for myself here.

I have been moved many times by both the submissions and the reactions of our readers. We’ve all made new friends. I have heard other comments from others as well but I will let our bloggers and readers share them with you themselves in the comments, if they don’t mind.

I’m always excited to see what bloggers will send in and we have been very fortunate to receive some really neat and fun stuff! I’m very grateful that we have all been able to share and enjoy each others fun times and great stories. I guess what I’m trying to say is, to participants and readers…

~ Happy Thanksgiving! ~

I give thanks for all of you, and the blogosphere as a whole, every day! Thanks you guys! Much love and aloha to everyone and please have a very safe and very happy Thanksgiving! Don’t eat tooooo much! 😉 Don’t forget your submissions!

Admissions Day Today and Made in Hawaii Festival This Weekend

It’s Admissions Day for the State of Hawaii. This day falls on the 3rd Friday of August and commemorates the date that Hawaii became the 50th United State.

On August 21, 1959, Hawaii was admitted to the Union of the United States, following right behind Alaska, which had just been admitted earlier that same year as the 49th State.

The interesting thing to note here is that the State of Hawaii representative that was in Washington to represent the State and who stood behind President Eisenhower during the ceremony, was House member-elect, Representative Daniel K. Inouye. Mr. Inouye remains, even until today, one of Hawaii’s representatives and now carries the title of Senator!

Made in Hawaii FestivalThe 2007 Made in Hawaii Festival is this weekend! In fact, it’s already in progress at Blaisdell Center. There is supposed to be more than 400 vendors selling books, plants, art work, clothes, and of course food! All things made in Hawaii! This annual event is scheduled to continue until 5:00 pm Sunday. Check it out!

Let’s Go Fishing!

I always thought of the 4th of July as being a day for baseball and barbecues, but for the first time in a long time we decided to go fishing. My husband’s family hasn’t done this for a while and it’s been even longer for us.

The weather people and the surfers were expecting a swell on Wednesday and the surfers were waiting. But, the surf didn’t materialize when and where it was expected. The surfers weren’t happy. But we were! Nice, flat water is great for reef fishing!

Scenic view looking towards Yokohama

We were a mile or two from Yokohama where the under-toe can be very nasty; as long as you’re not swimming in it you’re fine. That didn’t sound good. You would still be fine if you’re swimming in it… you just need to be a strong swimmer. Of course there’s always those reef sharks.

Read the rest of this entry »