Shopping with Husband

December 22nd, 2014
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Why do I bother taking my husband shopping with me? He's probably asking why he bothers to come with me.

We're even.

We were at a department store to buy Olivia's Christmas gift (a scooter she requested) and I got sidetracked right away by the gift wrap section with already-marked-down rolls of paper. It's not even Christmas Eve yet.

I'm one of those ladies who LOVES a sale so I made us stop to look at the cute choices. "Do you like this or this?" I asked him repeatedly. It was clear he could care less because he first started answering, "Yes."

I finally said, "You're not even listening to me."

He said, "I am."

I said, "Then which one: The reindeer or the skating polar bears?"

"The polar bears," he answered a little too quickly.

"I can tell you're just saying that to shut me up," I accused. "Do you really like it?"

This is the point at which the man is painted into the proverbial corner because he said cautiously, "What is the right answer?"

"Just tell me which one you really like the best," I said.

Then he (probably made up) a little narrative about how the bears are super cute because nothing is cuter than skating polar bears and who wouldn't like a gift wrapped in that adorableness? I know this whole time he was thinking, "Shoot, she said we were just going to pick up a scooter. What just happened?"

I accepted the answer and put the skating bears in the cart. As we continued to the toy aisle, I saw already-discounted fake trees.

I've always bought a real tree, but since Olivia mentioned offhandedly she didn't care if our tree was fake or real, I thought, "This would be so convenient to pull down from the attic next year and not have to worry about watering it or sweeping up pine needles."

The real tree we have this year cost a heck of a lot as well, and then there's the whole deal about driving to a tree lot, picking one out, setting one up, all that jazz - which is a ceremony some might like, but I don't.

I went through the whole deliberation with Claus about the size (six feet? seven feet? ten feet?) and lit vs. unlit. And you know the whole conversation was:

Seven feet? Is that too big?

No, it's fine.

What about six feet?

No.

Or maybe the ten footer since we have high ceilings?

No.

Let's look at these display models. In real life, does the six footer look tall enough?

No.

But is the seven footer too big?

No.

Do we have enough ornaments for it?

Yes.

---

You probably deduced the one-word answers were my husband's.

In his words:

"You asked the same question every time. Six foot? Lit or unlit? Seven foot? Lit or unit? Ten foot? Lit or unlit? Repeat. I was thinking, 'For God's sake, we have a tree in the cart. Can't we just move on?'"

I retorted, "Don't you understand careful deliberation is needed to ensure we have the product we like best for our home?"

He said, "Which took us one second. You were extremely decisive, until you wanted to question your decision. One hundred times. Until you got distracted by a lamp shade. Which we bought and now you want to return."

One hundred something dollars later and we hadn't even gotten to the scooter aisle.

This Christmas buying season is over and next year he's resolved NOT to come with me, even if it starts out as a simple in-n-out excursion to get one thing that we already know we want. Because now he knows it's always a bait-and-switch.

It only took him 14 years to figure that out.

Hawaii Community Foundation awards over $4 million in scholarships

December 21st, 2014
By

The cost of a college degree has more than doubled in the past ten years and it continues to climb. As a result there is an increase in applications for scholarships and other financial aid.

Award recipients from Maui at the 2014 Hawai‘i Community Foundation Scholarship event. Credit: Hawai`i Community Foundation

Award recipients from Maui at the 2014 Hawai‘i Community Foundation Scholarship event. Credit: Hawai`i Community Foundation

Last year, Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) awarded more than $4 million in scholarships to 1,400 students across the state, making it the third largest scholarship provider in Hawai‘i. By completing one online application, available now, students are matched to multiple scholarship opportunities and may be eligible to receive more than one award.

“We are extremely grateful to the generous individuals, families and businesses who are committed to helping Hawai‘i’s students achieve their dream of a higher education,” said Eric La`a, scholarship officer at Hawai‘i Community Foundation.  “Each new scholarship fund we create is cause for celebration because the applicants always outnumber the funds available.”

Each student who applies for a scholarship has a unique story. Kristen Gilchrist, scholarship recipient from Maui, met her scholarship donor, Paul Mancini, at an HCF scholarship event earlier this year. “It’s total strangers like Paul who helped me to believe in myself. This gift reminds me that I’m not the girl who had to overcome issues of self-confident, I’m the girl who can achieve her dreams of becoming a surgeon.”

The application period for HCF scholarships is open now.  The deadline for all applications is February 19, 2015.at hawaiicommunityfoundation.org.

HCF offers an “Early Application Deadline” on January 30, 2015. HCF will review the application to ensure that all required supplementary materials have been properly submitted. Students who do not have all the materials completed will have an opportunity to revise their applications and re-submit before the final deadline, increasing their chances of receiving a scholarship.

Noteable HCF Scholarship Dates:

January 16, 2015 3-4:30pm HST Live Twitter Q&A #askHCF

January 30, 2015 Early application deadline: students can submit application for early review and then revise.

February 19, 2015 Final Scholarship application deadline

For any questions regarding the application process, students may call or email the Foundation’s scholarships department at (808) 566-5570 and scholarships@hcf-hawaii.org. HCF will also host a Live Tweet Q&A session on Twitter, using the hashtag #askHCF and will make the content available after the event on the HCF Facebook Page, facebook.com/HCFscholarships.

The Merriest Hawaiian Christmas

December 20th, 2014
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For the 40th year, The Honolulu Boy Choir presents "Merriest Hawaiian Christmas"!

It's tonight, December 20, at Central Union Church. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Concert starts at 7:00 p.m. There is no admission charge but a free will offering would be appreciated.

No admission charge.  Freewill offering.

Schedule:
Prelude music by Kaiao (2013 Ka Himeni Ana winners)
Emcee, Maleko (101.9 celebrity DJ & Boy Choir alum)
Flag presentation by Marine Air Group 24 Color Guard
Anthems sung by Dr. Kalani Brady
Sounds of Aloha Chorus
Halau Kawaili'ula (2013 Merrie Monarch over all winners)
Samoan Gospel Heralds
Henry Kapono (Boy Choir will sing one song with him)
The Honolulu 'Alumni' Boy Choir (over 50 alums coming back to sing)

Sharing Day

December 19th, 2014
By

Olivia wanted to bring our cat, Ocho, for Sharing Day at school. There is no way Claus is going to arrange his schedule to bring the cat, wait for the cat to be presented, and then bring the cat back home.

Just so happened I took a couple of vacation days to just catch up on errands and personal things (including sleep!) so I offered to do it. The teacher was nice enough to rearrange the Sharing schedule to accommodate this.

Unsuspecting Ocho, before her whole day went down the drain.

Unsuspecting Ocho, before her whole day went down the drain.

Ocho should be a pro at it because we've trotted her out for the past two years, but - cats, go figure. She was unhappy at being paraded for a class of second graders.

Ocho: "Too! Many! Hands!!!"

Ocho: "Too! Many! Hands!!!"

I tried to spin it positive for Ocho, telling her this is more petting in 30 minutes than she would get in a whole year. She would hear none of that. Or was it because she couldn't hear over a chorus of excited children greeting her?

Cat Hell.

Cat Hell.

Ocho was actually a real trooper and allowed herself to be groped by 20 children. She didn't really try to run away (much). She didn't yowl, and she doesn't bite or claw in general, so she is a good cat to introduce to new people.

The night before, Olivia and I also baked and frosted cupcakes for the whole class. Olivia was very proud that she (sort of) did it all by herself, frosting and all.

IMG_4197

She was super pleased with herself for being a hit on Sharing Day, and I was very happy to make her happy.

Now if only we could get the cat on board with all this warm fuzzy. Rest up, Ocho. Next year comes sooner than you know it!

Yuletide Coffee Cheer at Waikiki Cafe

December 18th, 2014
By

Kai Coffee introduces an entire lineup of new items for a limited time to ring in the holidays.  A Gingerbread Spiced Latte and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha incorporates a blend featuring Hawaiian coffees, and a Cranberry Hibiscus Iced Tea serves as a refreshing alternative for non-coffee drinkers.

A pumpkin bread, gingerbread cookies, an apple almond tart, bûche de Noël, a limited selection of mugs, and a Holiday blend coffee showcasing a variety of Kai Coffee’s favorite beans are all available from now through the beginning of January 2015.

Gingerbread Spiced Latte. Photo courtesy: Sean Morris

Gingerbread Spiced Latte. Photo courtesy: Sean Morris

The Gingerbread Spiced Latte adds cinnamon and gingerbread syrup to give deeper aromatics to the Kai Espresso Blend, topped with a gingerbread whipped cream for added spice, while the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha adds peppermint syrup and Guittard’s dark chocolate to the already popular espresso blend.  The Cranberry Hibiscus Iced Tea takes an organic, non-GMO herbal cranberry hibiscus tea and enriches it with the brown sugar for depth and a tempered sweetness.

 

Peppermint Mocha Latte. Photo courtesy: Sean Morris

Peppermint Mocha Latte. Photo courtesy: Sean Morris

The coffee beverages are each priced at $4.75, $5.25, and $5.75 for small, medium, and large sizes, respectively, while the two iced tea sizes go for $2.50 for a small and $3.00 for a large.

In addition to the new seasonal beverages, spiced pumpkin bread ($4.00), and gingerbread cookies ($2.50), two additional desserts—a yule log roll cake ($6.50) with chocolate Genoise, chestnuts, and vanilla cream, as well as an apple almond tart ($6.00) with apples nestled over almond cream in a flaky, puff pastry—will satisfy the sweet holiday tooth.

Also, a special Holiday blend expressing the aromatics of mistletoe and cranberries, exuding rich hot cocoa notes, incorporate a variety of world coffees.  The special blend is offered by the cup, using the pour-over process, and is also sold as beans in a half-pound bag for $17.95, making for an affordable stocking stuffer.

“I wanted to add a few items to the menu so our customers have something to look forward to in December.  Plus, it is always nice to infuse some holiday spirit for guests visiting from around the globe, making our products more accessible to a wider audience,” says Samuel Suiter, owner of Kai Coffee.

Kai Coffee is located on the first floor of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, immediately adjacent to the waterfall.  The café is open from 5:30 am to 11:00 pm, Sunday through Saturday, 365 days a year.  Free validated parking is offered for each purchase over $25.