hello weekend + my nose has been stuck in a book


Ah the weekend is here at last. My big brother & his girlfriend are coming to visit for Easter weekend and I am REALLY excited. We will hopefully get stand-by tickets for one of  the sold-out Alcatraz tours, and eat some really good food like  Shanghai Dumpling House.

Also, I’m currently paying 10 cents (per day) of late fees, just so I can finish this *book, “Call the Midwife” (also known as The Midwife). A few months back, a friend recommended it to me, and I went straight to the library to check it out…but there were 13 people on the “waiting” list already. SO. I signed up anyway, and sort of forgot about it. Then when they emailed me a few weeks ago, I was so excited! Except that after I checked it out, I had a crazy overload week and a half, and did not even pick it up. Now it is 2 days over due (I can’t renew it b/c there are too many people who’ve placed it on hold!), but I am just 100 pages away from finishing it. I think I can afford the 20 cents.

I hope you have a great weekend, full of noses stuck in books, brothers coming to visit, or whatever else you have planned :)Eat some carrot cake for Easter! I ended up buying one from Costco instead of making one, because it just looked so dang delicious. And I’m kind of lazy.

*If you want to read this book, I should say that while I very much enjoy it and am learning lots, I did have to skip chapters “Cable Street” and “Cafe Life” simply because they were too sad for my little heart (and pretty graphic). Let’s just say those chapters were about birth, a poor girl, and life in the brothels.

eat: veggie-packed panini

I told Brooke that I need to start eating before viewing her posts for the blog…but my mouth is still watering. Do you not wish you had packed this for lunch??


{By Brooke} Since I’ve already covered breakfast and dinner, I thought I’d give you a quick and easy lunch, using one of my favorite kitchen tools — the handy dandy panini press. I use my panini press for grilling all kinds of things (veggies, burgers, fish, etc), but making panini sandwiches is what the little guy does best.

I love the ridges and crispiness created by the press. But if you don’t have a panini press, you could always make the sandwich in a frying pan over the stove, using a plate or a potato masher to press the sandwich down!

All right, now let’s get down to business. Here’s my guide to making a healthier version of a pa-pa-panini.


Start with your fixin’s. I think the ultimate panini needs five elements:

  1. quality bread
  2. a quality cheese
  3. some crunch
  4. some creaminess
  5.  an extra flavor punch.

For my sandwich, I chose a quality sourdough bread and Provolone cheese. I got crunch from red peppers and zucchini (plus spinach) and creaminess from the avocado. The extra flavor punch came in by adding a drizzle of creamy balsamic dressing, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

After assembling the sandwich, simply place it on the heated panini press, pull the lever down and wait for the light to turn green. I made my sandwich healthier by eliminating the butter. The panini press makes the sandwich crisp without needing any extra fat.


Now slice and enjoy with some fresh fruit. Voila!

Other combos I’ve tried:

  1.  Goat cheese and pesto with roasted red peppers on cracked wheat bread
  2. Mozzarella, sliced pear, spinach, walnuts and spicy mustard on wheat bread
  3. Cheddar cheese and apple with salt and pepper on sourdough bread
  4. Feta cheese with spinach, avocado and balsamic on wheat bread

Last Easter, I Gave You My Heart…

Sorry…I started the post “Last Easter” and I just couldn’t resist…(most annoying Christmas song ever?? Yes). Anyway, you’ve probably noticed things look a little different around here…I’m going with the gray (think: fog) look. What do you think of the header?? I also updated my about me.

Well last Easter was a blast, as Brooke-the amazing-threw the most springy easter egg hunt + delicious brunch EVER.







Look how short my hair used to be!!












I used to be a big party planner, but have sort of gotten out of my groove…there’ll be no Easter-partying this year 😦 But I have to pull myself out of it, because I have lots of party ideas (mostly revolving around food!). Maybe I should throw a “Post-Easter, Welcome-Spring!” party in April….does anyone want to come?!

Happy easter week, and don’t forget to eat some yummy carrot cake (I’m combing the internet right now, looking for a great ice cream + carrot cake combo, I’ll let you know how it turns out on Friday)!        -hugs, hanalei.

{dress} for church & sunday walks

Spring is here, and so is maxi-wearing weather. I saw some uber-cute maxi skirts at Target, but realized I didn’t need to spend more $$ to get one….I just had to get a little creative. Hence, this:

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I had originally cut 2 inches off this purple tube-dress because I liked the length hitting it at the ankles. So when I decided to fold it into a maxi skirt, the length was perfectly long enough, without dragging on the ground. I added my big waisted belt to polish off the look, but if you don’t have one, I thought it looked just fine without it. I love the high-waisted+long-skirt combo because I can wear flats without looking dwarf!


And there is my cheap version of a maxi skirt. This little trick also works great with other tube shirts or tube dresses that are shorter.

hugs, hanalei.

**Okay I keep doing these posts the night before, and then I schedule it to automatically post the next morning but it never does! Someone, please…help me with my wordpress problems…

hi there, weekend

Okay, enough pictures of me for the week. Overload, sorry. Time for a reprieve!

  • We finally hung some art around our flat, today (his aunt keeps telling me, “it’s a flat, not an apartment,”). It really feels like home now.
  • It was dangerously foggy in SF this week. I could barely see the cars infront of me!
  • I’m trying to put together a bucket list for SF, and I need your help! So far we still have yet to: visit Alcatraz, eat at Off the Grid in the mission, and do a Yosemite backpacking trip. Are we missing anything???

If you’re like me, and plan on sleeping tomorrow,  then here is a SUPER quick & yummy (& healthy?) popover recipe (didn’t you know popovers are the new pancake?).


The recipe says to divide the batter (which only has like 5 ingredients) into custard cups, but I just split it in half and cooked them in pie dishes. Serve with 100% maple syrup+blueberries (above) or apricot jam+berries+sausage (below).

Have a lovely weekend, and a delicious Saturday morning, wherever you are.

hugs, hanalei