dress: for a looooong airplane ride + travel tips

I wouldn’t say I’m a travel expert, but I have flown out of the country enough times to have my airline essentials down to a T.

dress airport

  1. Eye mask: these are a MUST. Granted, most airlines will give you them on the plane (if you’re flying long distances), but a lot of the time my flight is at some awkward time in the early morning, and I need to be able to doze off in my chair, before I board. Plus, I’m always loosing these, so I wouldn’t hurt to pack an extra!
  2. Backpack: the brighter the better (if you know me, you know I’m prone to wander & get myself lost…this bright color will make me easy to find! haha). For a long time I would pack my carry-on items in my largest over-sized purse. But have you ever weaved your way around a city (once you’ve arrived to your destination), hopped on a bus, climbed up and down stairs to the subway, all with your piece of luggage and that over-sized purse that keeps slipping off your shoulder every 5 steps??? I have learned that it is TEN million times easier to have everything in a backpack.
  3. Scarf: this is mostly for the plane ride. Even though it will be bloody hot once I get to Taiwan, we all know that planes are freezing. On the plane, I use my scarf for: a pillow, a blanket, a shawl, a skirt (one time I spilled tomato juice all over my shorts, and hadn’t packed any spare clothing in my carry-on…it worked!)…and the list goes on.
  4. Orthotics: this is something I wish someone had told me about long ago. I love to wear sneakers, don’t get me wrong. But this trip will be HOT, so I am mostly wearing skirts and dresses. And I just need to wear my sandals too! I bought some orthotics from Costco, that came with two kinds: one for sneakers, and one for sandals/flats! They do WONDERS on my feet, since we all know cute sandals and flats have almost NO support, and my feet would be killing me by the end of day 2.

dress airport 2Also, as you can see I’m wearing an oversized comfy tee (XXL from the Gap!) and leggings. These are pretty much my PJ’s these days, and you better believe that I’m not going to try and pack my PJ’s on my carry-on, only to try and change in those tiny bathrooms on the plane! Wear your comfy PJ’s on the plane, people…it will make dozing off so much easier.

travel tipsMy mother, who started traveling the world on a back-packing, train-sleeping, year-long trip to Europe (when she was 19!), has taught me a simple trick to pack quickly, without forgetting anything!

Think about everything you need, starting at the top of your head, then working down to your toes. For example:


  • hair…so I need shampoo + conditioner, brush, style products, hair ties & bobbies, etc.
  • ear…phone, phone charger, earrings…
  • face…face wash, makeup, toothbrush, face lotion, etc.


  • underwear, swimsuit, bra (don’t forget that one!)
  • shirts, shorts, tanks, skirts, dresses, workout clothes, etc.
  • accessories…necklace, bracelets, watch, etc.
  • lotion, shaver


  • socks, sandals, shoes
  • orthotics!
  • you get the picture….

There are my travel tips & essentials…what are some of yours?? I want to know because I loving learning new travel tips from fellow travelers! I’ll try and blog a few times a week, while I’m in Asia, but no guarantees… if anything, I’ll be back the end of May! Orevuar mon ami!        –hugs, hanalei.

dress: in trousers…yea or nay?


I found these oversized trousers a few years ago, and I’m kind of in love with them. They are just fun to wear and so cool in the hot summer sun. I’ve worn them before without cinching the waist with a belt, and now that I think about it I probably looked like tweedle dee & tweedle dum….if you have baggy trousers like this, I would definitely recommend wearing a belt around the waist!


In Asia, you see tons of girls wearing trousers like these. I can’t wait to show you all the fashions from Taiwan & Hong Kong! IMG_6991-002

So guys…what do you think. Would you wear these??

foggy prints: mama’s day cards

IMG_6898I’ve started to notice that I’m getting quite a few international readers on the blog (Albania, Croatia, Turkey, Australia…)(!) so I’ll try to adjust my writing a bit, for them 🙂

Mother’ Day is a few weeks away, here in America. I’m usually the kind of person who puts things in the mail 2 days before the holiday/birthday/celebration. But not this year! I got an early start because I’m super on top of things…okay not really, I just have to get them out before I leave (in 5 days!) for China…

mothers day ka

I just love making my own cards. Sometimes most of the time I don’t get it right the first time around, so it’s usually the second or third card that comes out just right.

mothers day ka1 So if my mama or mama-in-law are reading this…I guess you get a sneak peek into what you’ll be getting in the mail next week!

hugs, hanalei.

HObags making a comeback



Back in college, I was thrifting one day, and found a grandma-print blouse that I thought would make the best bag. Then, the name came to me: HO bags! My maiden last name is Ho. I wanted to make bags. HObags? HObags! My husband hates the name, but I think it’s hilarious.


It’s been many years since the first HObag was made, but now they’re baaaaack! This one is for my girl, Kenzie 😀 (The blouse + belt were found at Goodwill while we were thrift shopping on Haight Street)


Keep reading for the full tutorial!

monday mornings



HERE you go. I know, it’s painful…most Monday mornings are. This is pretty much what I look like every morning! My cousin Danielle took this picture of me my freshman year at college (2006), and she captioned it “This is what Hanalei looks like in the morning. Scary I know.” Isn’t that sweet of her?

A few reasons why I love this outfit: nice color combination, sweet Santa Claus print on the boxers, and those socks are really soft. Anyone else have an outfit like this? Happy Monday everybody!