Waikiki Staycation

Olive + Oliver

These past few weeks have been a bit hectic in the office and at home so I asked my fiancé if he’d be opposed to getting some sun and alone time in busy Waikiki all weekend. Surprisingly, he was so excited, he booked a room at The Surfjack the next day!

We usually like to stay at The Laylow because of the nearby restaurants and luxe and trendy ambience, but he knew I was curious about the vintage vibe at The Surfjack. They have a nice restaurant called Mahina and Suns and live music every weekend. I dig it very much.

One of my fave things about The Surfjack is their coffee shop / boutique, Olive + Oliver. Coffee is below $5 and you get to choose a cup by a famous illustrator. The one pictured above is by Kim Sielbeck, a Honolulu-based artist.

View of the pool from our room on the second floor.

The Surfjack isn’t too far from most eateries, but you’ll have to either walk or borrow a bike. We decided to have breakfast at Bills Hawaii, an Australian restaurant best known for their ricotta pancakes.

The Full Aussie from Bills

Before we get into the ricotta pancakes, I wanted to mention the Full Aussie, which is a nice heap of protein and the best miso mushrooms I’ve had. Bills has a teensy bit of local flair, serving kimchee sausage as part of their signature Aussie breakfast.

Ricotta pancakes from Bills

Cue melty buttah action! The ricotta pancakes were served with this honey butter, which resembled sporty banana slices. I was confused at first, seeing banana at the bottom, I mistook the honey butter slice for banana and accidentally put it in my mouth! Kinda gross, but not?! I spit it out and spread the rest of the (untouched) butter across the cakes and we devoured every bite. Oh, if you show your local ID, kamaaina discount is 20%! Yassss…

Tsukemen from Bario

I wish I took photos at the beach, but I was too busy relaxing and frolicking with the fiancé to stop and take photos. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, Waikiki beach was nice, but full of tourists (shocker). For lunch, we wanted to go someplace with a kamaaina discount…so we walked over to Yokocho, my fave spot for Japanese food. If you’re local, you get 15% off your order. We got the ramen and original tsukemen from Bario, because comfort food is a must after every beach day.

Book recommendation: In the Seat of a Stranger’s Car – bought this gem at Olive + Oliver.

This is how we ended our little staycation: with a book and a matcha latte with Olive + Oliver’s homemade honey syrup. Photos of myself sleeping with my mouth open on the pool lounge chair may surface later this week, but I don’t have any regrets about taking a little break from work and family obligations! I’d do it all over again.

TRAVEL BLOG: Budapest in Two Days (Winter)

Photo taken at the Museum of Sweets and Selfies, a pop-up museum, similar to the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco.

This is the second part of my Europe trip recap. Budapest was our second destination! We decided to go to Budapest just a couple of days before I left for Vienna. It was simple to plan. We bought our tickets on OBB and booked our Airbnb in the heart of the city, near Gozsdu, a lively area with eateries and bars.

360 Bar has heated igloos that you can reserve. We were too late to reserve one, but we arrived early and were able to enjoy it on the rooftop before their dinner rush.
360 Bar has one of the best cheese fondue sets I’ve had. I wanted to eat it all myself! Kevin and I fought over the pickles and bread. The cheese was delish.

We didn’t get to do much research on Budapest, but we made a list of the places we wanted to visit:

  • Gozsdu Udvar
  • Miniversum Budapest
  • New York Cafe
  • 360 Bar
  • Museum of Sweets and Selfies
  • Szcheyeni Thermal Bath

Obviously we couldn’t make it to all of them because of our limited time there. We didn’t realize distance from the train station to our Airbnb was going to be so far, so we narrowed down our choices to just a few that were nearby.

Gozsdu was great. At night, it’s full of life. There were so many eateries to choose from: Italian, Hungarian, Mexican, Thai, American, etc. We ate at a Hungarian restaurant and ordered their goulash. It was so tasty! We also grabbed a few drinks at one of the bars and enjoyed the atmosphere.

This is a typical Hungarian breakfast, says the server at one of the Gozsdu eateries (I can’t remember the name of the place). I had no idea the sausage under neat the toast was made of horse meat. Cheers to new experiences!
Goulash at the New York Cafe.

We passed up the thermal bath because the weather was horrendously cold for us islanders. I couldn’t take walking on the street for longer than 10 minutes. I was a popsicle! One of our last stops was at the New York Cafe, a “cafe” that many claim is the most beautiful cafe in the world. The ceilings were painted in the similar style of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting. I ordered the goulash and Kevin ordered some cakes. We loved the goulash above all. I have dreams to stay at the New York Hotel one day and spending more time learning more about the history behind Budapest. A two-day trip just wasn’t enough!

Tropical Tuesday

I’m a bit late in admitting I’m on the Fabletics train. I wanted to try out their clothes and see how they held up after months of wearing. The verdict? The workout pants/legging quality is meh, but the sports bras…they’re amazing! I first subscribed earlier this year and of course I gravitated towards everything BLACK. Black leggings. Black sports bras. Black is safe and matches with everything and it hides all of my vulnerabilities.

Well I’m over that. Not that I don’t have vulnerabilities anymore, but I’m tired of sifting through a mass of black on laundry days. So two months ago, I ordered my first real funky colored and printed workout clothes. They had tropical prints! Green on pink has been trending and I’m so glad they had something that matched the one trend I’ve been fangirling about. When my order arrived, the pigment on the fabric was decent, you can tell it was digitally printed or something. I washed it about five times because it’s so comfy and the print hasn’t faded…yet. It’s a perfect pop of color when you are wearing a low-cut button-down shirt or a flowy workout top.

I’m officially a fan and regret all those times I settled for black. The print makes me happy and I look forward to buying more fun prints and brighter colors. Take a chance this week! Wear something out of the ordinary.

 

Thirty

THIRTYREASONS3Today is the day I make my 30th circle around the sun.

Welcome to IslandBohemian.com v.2! I’m going to be posting A LOT MORE on what I wear, create, and obsess over. I’m taking more time to write, design, photograph, and share whatever makes me smile.

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  I love anything lacy, boho, big jewels or stones, and colorful.

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Lace, lace, and more lace!

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Black midi skirt, Costco, lace tank + camisole, Ross, lace kimono and necklace, Forever21, purple ring, Nordstrom Rack, gold chain bracelet, my own.

Today’s going to be a great day!

Flashback: Summer with the besties.

Reunions are hard to come by, especially after college.We made it work this summer.

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Two of our best friends, Annabelle and Janel flew in from Saipan to spend time with us for a few weeks. We all used to live in Honolulu, went to college together, and got our first real jobs together. It was fun to catch up, do everything we used to do when we were younger (beach days, North Shore drives, dinners in town, girls nights in, shopping, and all the fun stuff island girls do).

Sandy Beach

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Sun Yoga on the Beach

I’ve been attending Sun Yoga Hawaii for a month so far. It has been really challenging since I injured my foot a few months ago. Afraid to further damage the muscle in my foot, my doctor recommended that I stick to yoga and avoid high-impact workouts. So I tip-toed into Sun Yoga Hawaii one day and asked if they had a promotion for new members. I signed up for a full month for $44, after my first month, the membership costs $160/month. The cost is a bit much for my budget, but the facilities are much closer to my house than my old yoga studio and I like the feeling I get once we’re done with the hard poses. Sun Yoga Hawaii’s teaching style is very similar to Core Power Yoga but heat-based, which makes for a great workout and post-workout high for those who aren’t heat sensitive. There are some poses that I miss doing that made me feel taller, but I do enjoy how happy my body feels after. I usually go to Michele’s class in the mornings before work. In her instruction, she includes facts about what each pose does to your body (squeezing your thyroid, strengthening your core, twisting your reproductive system, etc.), things that will motivate you to go hard on that posture.

This past weekend, Sun Yoga Hawaii held their monthly free class called “Sun Yoga on the Beach” at Sandy Beach. It was even more challenging to do those poses in the sand! But it was nice because they have a healthy potluck after.

(I got to play with my new GoPro Hero4.)

Rochelle Roberto

Rochelle RobertoHere is the second part of the Haani shoot: her mother, Rochelle Roberto. It was her birthday so she wore a sweet ginger lei and her usual gorgeous smile.

For photography inquiries, email brandisalas@gmail.com.