Spalding House


Floppy hat, House of Aria, top (sale rack), Eden in Love.

Formerly known as The Contemporary Museum, The Honolulu Museum of Art’s Spalding House, is hidden under shady trees in Makiki. Kevin and I drove up to see the new exhibits and unfortunately, the main exhibit section was under construction. We opted to grab a snack at the café downstairs. I had a cup of the tasty vegan tomato soup and he had the flourless chocolate cake.

Once we cleaned our cup and plate, we walked through the garden and took a peek at the soon-to-be completed outdoor surfer exhibit. The artist replaced the tennis court with his version of the ocean and all things surfers encounter in the water.

Admission is free on Saturdays. I highly suggest calling to see if the exhibits are completed before you go…unless you’re only up for a bite to eat.

Travel essentials

IB Travel essentials

I’m getting ready to leave for Saipan and Guam tomorrow. Here are my travel essentials: lots of black clothes, tons of necklaces, headbands (because it’s maipe – hot), my passport, a journal for ideas/poetry/inspiration and a little purse. Of course I’ll be taking my DSLR along for the trip. 🙂 One of my goals is to learn at least five new phrases in Chamorro. My friends and I have this thing where we jokingly try to one-up each other on Chamorro phrases and vocabulary. I always lose, so I’ve really got to step my game this time. ¡Biba Marianas!

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

IB Lanikai Pillbox copyI’m not the kind of girl that hikes. I don’t look like a hiker nor act like one. But FoodographyHI is one of those people that make anything treacherous or physically painful seem exciting and adventurous. She convinced me to do the Lanikai Pillbox Hike with her yesterday and we died many times before making it to the top. We had a little spat about making it up that last part because I didn’t want to fall off the cliff and get killed. But again, she convinced me with the “we made it all the way up here, what’s another five minutes?” speech. As terrified as I was, I managed to climb my way to the top with her and we sat atop the pillbox and enjoyed the view of Kailua, Lanikai and Waimanalo. It was worth it.

The hardest part of the hike was actually going down. I think I fell a good six times due to the worn out traction on my sneakers. I got some cuts and scrapes to prove it!


Inside of the pillbox, there were some tags and this awesome artwork. I didn’t get a good photo of the outside (which had a snowman and some Christmas designs), but the inside was pretty cool.

Thanks to FoodographyHI for pushing me to the top. It’s awesome to feel that fear inside you once in a while, it makes you feel alive! That’s my take on the last adrenaline rush for 2012. Peace.

From where I stand…

I’d say, “wouldn’t you like to take a dip?” But the water isn’t the cleanest thing here in Hawaii Kai. Once in a while, you’d see some stand-up paddlers roaming the marina…and tourists of course. I took this a few days ago with my iPhone and used an HDR filter to give it some pop. I’ve been spending my work days in Hawaii Kai lately and I’ve fallen in love with my neighborhood all over again. I’m finally seeing HK developing its own culture. For example, we have live music on Fridays at Island Brew Coffeehouse, on the weekends at Cha Cha Cha Salsaria and Roy’s. A weekly farmer’s market at Kaiser High School on Saturdays and an upcoming Christmas boat parade on Dec. 15th. Ahhh community building at its best. Now all we need is a bar/lounge that is cheaper than Roy’s but a teensy bit more upscale than The Shack.

As always, here are some random moments from this week >>>

I’d say I’m a quirky kinda girl, black and white looks good with anything, right? It’s actually chilly out so leggings + a cardigan are required this weekend. I never wear these green leggings. But they’ll do for work today.

My brother upped the ante on the green today. He’s just returned back to Guam from his golf tournament in Thailand. My mother emailed me a photo of what he wore today. He’s got balls to rock hot pink with lime green! You won’t miss this fearless, neon chamaole on the golf course.

Lastly, I scoured Barnes & Noble for the latest issue of Hi-Fructose. One of my fave artists Audrey Kawasaki is featured and her latest artwork filled a five-page spread. Follow her on Instagram for more of her seductively striking work.




Photos from art class

Wood carving of the head of Siwa, Indonesia, Bali, 1962

My art instructor, Quala-Lynn Young, asked us to take a photo of two items that we selected from the Lending department at the Honolulu School of Art. Prior to being used as instruments of inspiration, these items were displayed at the Honolulu Museum of Art and circulated around the world. The first item had to be of a feminine or masculine figure and the second could be anything that speaks to us.

I chose this intricate carving of the Hindu god Siwa (also known as Shiva) from Bali. I was first drawn to Siwa’s headdress and shoulder ornaments. I couldn’t help but stare at how glorious this figure was, with the feathery necklace and pointed panels of the headdress. How would this look in real life? A delicate deity with a little tower on top of his head.

The second item I chose was just as intricate as Siwa, it was this dried coral fan with lavender roots and jagged edges. The Lending department did not have much information on this piece, but it’s not surprising that it most likely came from the Pacific Ocean. Maybe for an islander, this isn’t something special, but it is no doubt beautiful and mysterious, with only a number to identify it. It could be from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the tiny islands of Micronesia, the Graveyard reef in Palau or maybe in our own backyard beach in O’ahu.

I was a bit excited about taking my DSLR to class. I thought I’d get some good photos of the details of my items. I kind of did. But one thing is for sure, I definitely need to upgrade my camera or invest in a macro lens. My Nikon won’t focus everything into one shot and that frustrated me. During last night’s class, we were required to take photos of our items because the Lending department could only lend them for a few weeks. I kept snapping away for a good shot of the details in the Siwa carving and the webbed fibers of the coral fan, but I could only focus on one thing. Maybe I should just upgrade the body.

Here’s the courtyard in the back of the art building. It’s kind of haunting and fascinating at the same time. This photo came out alright. It’s not as sharp as I’d like it to be, but it was late at night, after class and my eyes were droopy. Lights out!




Ko Olina & Aulani

It’s not every day that I get to enjoy the other side of O’ahu. It has definitely changed! It is much more tourist-centric with the somewhat recent opening of the Disney Aulani Resort in Ko Olina. Although I’m almost a year late on the grand opening reviews of Aulani (hey a girl’s gotta work), I decided to sneak in through the side door and take a look at what the hype is all about. The tourist scene is a little more lax than the busy and cheesy Waikiki. No doubt this hotel is cheesy too, having that Chip and Dale are scouring the lobby hallways for a photo-op, but it’s a decent effort to welcome tourists with the Aloha spirit.

The one thing I really like is the lobby. It’s the closest thing to luxury accommodation on the west side of O’ahu. Unfortunately, the kama’aina rate is about $318 for the garden view and $418 for the ocean view. It’s definitely not enough of a discount for me to stay for one night.

The new resort is perfect for families who need to relax. Kapolei is hustling for some business down the road with tourist-friendly mainland giants Target, Costco & K-Mart. From a townie local perspective, I wouldn’t shell out the money to stay there for a night. If anything, I’d definitely take my dad during his business trips to O’ahu just to listen to the live music in the lobby lounge.

Hawaii Prince Golf Course in Ewa

Hawaii Prince Golf Course in Ewa Beach, O’ahu.

Natasha Kealoha

These are previews from today’s shoot with Wailuku native Natasha Kealoha. The weather was certainly not in our favor this morning. Surprisingly, the photos came out great even though poor Natasha was posing in the rain. You’re a trooper, girl! We’ll definitely resume our shoot on Thursday with your cap and gown.