Saturday, August 31, 2013

Las Vegas Sullivan Wedding

Let me start this Vegas wedding adventure by clearing up any misconception's out there by saying "I am not a professional photographer". Now that I have a fancy camera, I have found more love for photography and this blog helps me express that with my readers. There are many professional photographer's that I follow and admire in the social networking world. They inspire me to take better pictures and keep me motivated to always do my best. Their dedication to this fine art inspires my heart.  

Phew... Now that I got that out, I feel like I can share our Las Vegas adventure and photo's I captured along the way. I hope you enjoy as much as I do. 

I was beyond honored to stand beside this beautiful bride as she wed her true love in Las Vegas. I'll tell you I wasn't nervous for our trip to the mainland but that would be a lie. Traveling with little ones can be hectic, but well worth it once you've reached your destination and continue the memory making process. Could it have been my nerves that caused an allergic reaction the day before the wedding? was it dayquil? I honestly do not know. My face blew up. Like, literally. Throat, tongue, eyes and lips. I broke out in hives from the neck down and in true LV experience fashion made a trip to the ER where they pumped me full of epinepherine, saline, benadryl and prednisone. I missed the bachelorette night before the wedding because of this episode and tried my best to get the swelling down before pictures. Thankfully, by the next day I was a little less scary and with the help of a professional (and lots of encouragement from my family) I was back in the game.  I'm working with my doctor on getting my health back to normal. Not a ton of great news this week. Also, not the worse... more on that in a later post...

For now, I want to share intimate moments I was witness to while the bride was getting ready for her big day. The lighting in the room was perfect. I had my camera handy so I shot some pictures (with permission) of the talented Annika at Once upon a primer glamorizing Mrs. soon to be Sullivan. This amazing beauty professional is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Along with the bride, I trusted her with my make-up on this same day. Her soft-spoken voice and gentle encouragement was exactly what I needed to rock some smokey eye and red lipstick. Big thanks to Annika for helping myself and most importantly my dear friend, the bride feel beautiful on her wedding day.  

Have a big night out in LV? Need a professional to hook you up in the beauty department? Another link to Annika's Facebook fan page can be found here

Annika - you were so wonderful! Thank you, again! 
One of my favorite iphone photo's of the flower girls 
A very handsome barefoot ring bearer  on the dance floor
First dance as Mr. & Mrs. J. Sullivan
The bouquet toss winner was my Sister :) She looks excited don't you think? 
Now that we are back on O'ahu from our Arizona Summer Adventure and Sullivan Wedding, real life feels like it is finally beginning for us on the island. Teilani started Hula last week and this coming week she starts pre-school. While I am excited to get into a normal routine, I will admit that I sort of like chaos and more than that LOVE to travel with my family by my side. If only those plane ticket's were more affordable... Oh, the places we would/will go! 

Thank you, Sullivan's for sharing your wedding day with my family. Thank you especially for helping me feel comfortable while I was down and swollen on your couch. I value our friendship more than words can express. God Bless you both! 



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Arizona Summer Adventure

A couple weeks ago, my family traveled to Arizona to visit my in-law's in Prescott Valley. If you have been following the news lately, you'll know that this is within an hour of Yarnell - where the Granite Mountain 19 Hot Shot Crew lost their lives in a wild land forest fire. At the time of the incident I was in Honolulu, no where near the fire. Though my heart felt like I was right in the middle as I flipped from one news channel to another watching the story develop. So, given the opportunity to visit the memorial in Prescott during our trip, my husband and I eagerly went to see the outpour of support his hometown town has offered. Let me tell you, it was unbelievable. What started as a plywood sign hung on the fence bordering the station in Prescott, quickly grew to a block full of letters, mementos, and tremendous love for the friends, families and Heroes 19 that were affected. As I stood in front of the memorial, I watched car by car drive by nearing to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Maybe they hadn't seen the sight before or perhaps this is exactly the power all this love has on anyone who stops by. I'm not sure how much longer they will keep the memorial up but if you are in the area or know someone that is, have a look for yourself and show these heroes some love. 

This is a sign my Sister in Love left via Prescott Area Tennis Association. A group that has been raising money for the GM 19 since the incident. God Bless You All!

Taking full advantage of having family available to watch our little ones, Jarrod and I stopped by the Prescott Brewing Company later that day and bought their Heroes 19 beer. All proceeds go directly to the families. It was GOOD! There is also a link on-line where you can by a "virtual pint" if your feeling generous from home. Donate a virtual pint here

There is no place in the world like Arizona. Prescott Valley's sunset's are one of a kind and the community is close-knit and loving. I look forward to our next visit this winter where we will bundle up and hopefully get to see some snow. Some shots of the next leg of our adventure into Las Vegas, Nevada is coming up! 



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dragonfruit Strawberry Mango Salad

I have been craving mangoes like crazy since we moved into our new house. It's almost like the mango tree in our front yard is begging me to create dishes with this fruit. Then I stumbled on Foodland - Hawaii's Facebook page and saw this recipe that includes dragon fruit and mango. YUM!! Since dragonfruit was on sale at Foodland this week I scooped up the kids, jumped in my car and got their ASAP hoping they weren't sold out. Thankfully, they were not. Anyways. Along with picking up dragon fruit, I wanted to incorporate something else I love into this salad, so I chose strawberries. 

I have far too many memories of picking strawberries off a raised garden in my Grandparents front yard. Nowadays I watch my children pick mangoes off the ground that have fallen from the tree and wonder if mangoes will remind them of home like strawberries do for me. 

Back to the fruit salad... The process to making this is really easy. For directions on how to dissect a dragon fruit click here 

After the dragon fruit is diced, add it to a mixing bowl with one mango that has been muddled and 3-4 diced strawberries. Give it a quick mix and then place the mixture in the leftover skin of the dragon fruit (for an extra fun serving dish) and squirt half a wedge of lemon over the top. I didn't even use a fork after I took this picture. I inhaled both halves all to myself. Next time I promise to share.

Dragon fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, fiber, and natural antioxidants that prevent dangerous free radicals from attacking the body, causing sucky cancer and other undesired health problems like diabetes. Cancer + Diabetes = yuck. Dragon fruit = WIN. I hope you take my advice and try this fruit salad on a hot summer day when the mangoes are ripe and dragon fruit is on sale.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photography Adventure & Avocado Leaf Tea

I keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter the quality of the photo. For now, just capture the moments as they happen and the details will come in time. I have dreamed of a new camera for. like. ever. With the support of Daddy J - this week we were able to make my dream come true. Don't get me wrong, you can still shoot beautiful photos with an iphone. Which has been my means of photographing life the past few years. Through my iphone camera is where I discovered a passion for photography. I still use it daily with no plans on throwing in the towel, always tinkering with fun filters, posting to Instagram and #hashtagging like a #mommarazzi. HA! BUT, I LOVE my new Canon Rebel t5i. I mostly shoot in auto mode. A few times I tried adjusting my own setting's but have been less than satisfied with the outcome. Boo! I have so much to learn. Let the photography journey begin!

What I won't do is let the time we have in Hawaii go by without documenting what my eyes see. In what I hope to be a tactful and not like an "oh hey, I'm in Hawaii, be jealous and look at my photo's" kind of way. That's lame. These particular photo's were taken in and around our yard the past few days. Our neighbors are growing some pretty amazing things. Any opportunity I have to take in their knowledge of gardening I grasp it. So far they have been very generous in educating my green thumb, which is a work in progress... 

My first day shooting I was noticing a huge vegetable growing on a fence next door. I used it as my first photo lesson along with far too many of my kids, only snapping about 20 of the same photo. Then I wandered over to our other neighbor's house and noticed all sorts of beautiful flowers. And also, wait for it... an Avocado tree. WHAT THE?!.... Another dream come true. I LOVE AVOCADO'S. They clearly noticed my stalking of the tree and said I could pick as many as I like anytime I want. And the leaves too. Leaves? I ask... Yes, Leaves! They make a great tea that offer's an array of wonder's for the body including cleansing of the kidney, lowering blood pressure, and more. So that is what I did. I picked a bundle of leaves with my cute boy, and I made tea. Any time I eat the smallest amount of whole avocado my mouth swells and I break out in hives. Thankfully, this did not happen with the tea. Maybe I'll build a tolerance? Hives, swelling, coughing, all equals a pain well worth it (I'm crazy, I know) when prepared with benadryl. This weird allergy onset after my pregnancy with Jeyes. Who would've thought? Blah. Oh, pregnancy...  

The process to making this tea is quite easy:

1. Pick
2. Rinse well
3. Boil 10-15 minutes
4. Extract the leaves after boil
5. Pour in your favorite cup of course and enjoy

My house smelled earthy and clean while it was boiling. A great treat. After it is poured - add any sweetener, honey, flavoring you would like, whatever fancies your drink. I didn't add anything and still thought it tasted just right. 

So there it is... my first photo's from the beloved Canon. And a little "who knew?" about Avocado tree leaves. Do you own a Canon? How was your first experience? My question's are only now beginning. Mahalo in advance for any love you could throw my way.