Local designer partners with boutique hotel chain to offer totes

October 20th, 2014
By

Local business owner and designer Tamar Wong partners with hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hotels’ to offer in-room totes for guests to use- perfect for things like beach days and shopping trips.

Courtesy: Joie de Vivre

Courtesy: Joie de Vivre

The bags will be sold at the chain's Hawaii properties, Shoreline Hotel Waikiki and Coconut Waikiki Hotel. Wong's Oahu-based brand, Happy Town Hawaii, adds this to an existing series of bright, cheery canvas totes.

Encouraging guests to carry the spirit of the islands with them, the ethically-minded bags are available for purchase at either property. Exclusive to Joie de Vivre Hotels, the 100% recycled cotton, customized canvas totes reflect the look and feel of the respective hotels.

Designed, dyed and printed in Hawaii, the reusable totes marry style with earth-friendly materials. Guests of the two Joie de Vivre Waikiki hotels can buy their Happy Town Hawaii totes for $12 (usually sold for $22-28).

Put Your Best Face Forward with Face Reflexology

October 17th, 2014
By

A recent face reflexology session helped me put my best face forward for the week. I had never tried one before, and it was excellent. I didn't realize how much tension and stress my facial muscles build up, which transmits to my entire body. This tension is created by mundane activities: tired eyes, chewing, grinding teeth, even laughing.

Linda Shafie of Aesthetique Boutique points out, "Our faces are the first locations we exhibit our emotions or suppress them. With face reflexology, stimulation of the points and zones trigger release of endorphins and serotonin, so upon completion of each session client feels relaxed and rejuvenated. The deep smooth massage steadily releases the tension and balances the central nervous system helping the body to heal itself."

Linda Schafie

Linda Schafie

Shafie is a delicate, elegant woman whose first career was in corporate and investment banking.  She made a radical switch to healing therapies after losing her father to pancreatic cancer, triggering a major change in her priorities and worldview.  "I wanted to channel my passion to compassion; my passion is the fuel that drives me to immerse myself into my work and deliver results. Compassion is what I extend to others: because I was not able to be there for my father, it is the manifestation of caring and concern," she says. A key portion of her client base is aimed at helping cancer patients.

The session began when I laid down on the massage table (fully clothed) and Schafie applied a light rose hip oil to my face. She then massaged areas on my face connected to areas of my body. By stimulating those areas, it improves underlying energy imbalances to promote well being.

Some parts felt mildly bruised when she touched it, which she says meant I have blockages that need clearing. Some parts tingled. It was all very relaxing.

Who should try this? It can help in the treatment of specific conditions, to maintain general health, or purely for facial rejuvenation and relaxation. "As a complimentary therapy, face reflexology does not claim to cure - but does greatly enhance and assist in the treatment of - many conditions, like allergies
, anxiety and stress
, arthritis, 
Bells Palsy
, depression
, digestive problems
, insomnia
, migraines
, stroke rehabilitation
, and more," explains Schafie.

It isn’t a facial, but does have beautifying side effects, ‘lifting’ the face to make it feel and look smoother and more toned. As well as encouraging lymphatic drainage, the massage techniques stimulate the facial nerves, blood flow and muscles, helping to build up new skin tissue and improve skin tone.

Face reflexology combines three ancient therapies with modern science of neurology: Traditional Chinese Medicine, South American Zone Therapy, Vietnamese face maps and points, and our most current knowledge of neuro-anatomy.

"Our face contains numerous nerves and blood vessels. Its close proximity to the brain insures facial stimulation as the shortest pathway to the brain center, offering a more efficient effect in balancing health concerns. The stimulation works through the central nervous system to specific organs and to regulate the blood, lymph, body functions and hormones," details Schafie. "This complementary therapy is designed to assess the underlying cause of one's compromised health, yet also assist with the treatment of symptoms.
"

If you go: the session stimulates the entire body, so Shafie says you may experience symptoms of detoxification.  "These are temporary and let you know that body is working to cleanse and balance," she clarifies. "It is suggested to rest and drink plenty of water to support the body in its transition."

To book: Linda Shafie at aboutique808@gmail.com.

The Tour de Cure Hawaii

October 15th, 2014
By

Did you know that every 19 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes? That means today alone over 5,000 people will be diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes claims the lives of more people annually than breast cancer and AIDS combined – over 500 people will not see tomorrow because of this debilitating disease.

29 million Americans have diabetes. Here in Hawaii, over 497,800 individuals have diabetes or prediabetes - that is almost half of our population! Diabetes costs our island economy over $1.1 billion each year.

A.D.A._Tour_De_Cure_2013-121

You can do something about it! The American Diabetes Association's local office is holding the Second Annual Tour de Cure. Our state joins over 90 ADA rides across the United States on November 2. The Tour de Cure Hawaii event will start and finish at Kapiolani Community College and features a 5-mile, 10-mile, 25-mile, and a 50-mile route.

Tour de Cure. Courtesy: American Diabetes Association.

Tour de Cure. Courtesy: American Diabetes Association.

The ADA is also acknowledging riders with diabetes as Red Riders. All Red Riders will receive a free Red Rider Jersey and will be honored all day.

Tour de Cure. Courtesy: American Diabetes Association.

Tour de Cure. Courtesy: American Diabetes Association.

For more information, call Lawrence “LJ” Duenas, Associate Director at (808) 947-5979 or lduenas@diabetes.org.

When: November 2, 2014
Where: Kapiolani Community College
Address: 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Registration Fee: 25.00
Fundraising Minimum: 200
Route Distances: 5, 10, 25, and 50

Please mail checks to ADA's local office:

American Diabetes Association
ATTN: Tour de Cure
900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 940
Honolulu, HI 96813

More information at: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/TourAdmin?pg=entry&fr_id=9405

Kalei's interview

October 13th, 2014
By

Olivia had a family tree homework assignment, and part of it included interviewing a family member. Her calabash aunt was over, so she decided to interview Kalei.

Here is where differences start to show in our personalities. The question was, "What are a couple major events happened in your early life?"

I kept offering things that I know happened during Kalei's life: Reagan assassination attempt, Chernobyl meltdown, Berlin Wall crumble. Always a journalist, I guess.

Claus suggested, "What about a fishing trip your dad took you on that meant a lot? What about a family tradition you really love?" Sentimental.

Kalei's stream-of-conscious vetting of answers is comically adult-rated. "What about the time my parents disowned me when I was 14? Or when I was suspended from school for smoking in my uniform?"

"No. That's not really second-grade appropriate," I laughed.

Artist rendering of Kalei.

Artist rendering of Kalei (standing between waterfalls.)

"OK, then there was the time I went to Sea Life Park to pet a dolphin and was freaked out by it and have not liked fish ever since," she recalled.

While we were debating the child-friendliness of this answer, Olivia went ahead and wrote it down, and drew a photo of Kalei to go with it.

This is Kalei's version of events. I probably should have just made the effort to call my 85 year old Auntie Roz instead of asking my hilariously sarcastic thirty something gal pal:

I think we were in two different places because I recall it went down like this:

Liv had a school project to interview someone, so she interviewed me.

The first question was "When is your birth date?" so I replied "None of your business," to which Di said that was an inappropriate answer for a school project, so I gave it up.

The rest were weird questions like "What elementary school did you go to," "Where were you born and raised," "What were your hobbies when you were my age," "What were your chores when you were my age," "What could you buy with five cents when you were my age," "How much is it now," then the last question was "Tell me a story or something important that happened when you were little."

My first answer was, "I was attacked by a border collie so I'm still working out my issues with dogs." Di said it was not seven-year-old material, then my next answer was, "When I was in Japan I asked my grandma to get me a baby chicken; it bit my face and then died, so I'm scared of chickens." Again, Di said to mind my audience.

So then I said, "I moved out when I was 14 to live with my best friend because I grew up in an unhealthy environment." Di said definitely too deep for a second grader's project.

So my final, edited, and approved answer translated by Liv on paper is "Sea Life Park pet a dolphin now scared of them."

Note how I said "approved" answer, because this was not an interview. It was a collective storytelling of my life as edited by the peanut gallery of Diane and Claus. You call yourself a journalist?

Guest ringmaster at the circus!

October 10th, 2014
By

The Moscow International Circus came in for a weekend, bringing its high-flying, huge-energy, heart-pounding acts to Honolulu audiences. I had the honor of being a guest ringmaster at one of the performances!

Me as guest ringmaster!

Me as guest ringmaster!

I showed up an hour early to make sure I was in place and knew where and when to walk. I had a little script that I memorized, including the exact wording of the all-important roll cue "on with the show," so that the director knew when to dim the lights.

photo 1

I was allowed to mingle backstage with the glamorous performers, which was definitely a highlight. I sat in the ladies' dressing room for half an hour learning a little more about their backgrounds and their passions for the circus.

photo 1

Olessya from Kazkstan, Olena from Ukraine, Ana from Brazil.

Ana, who hangs by her hair, among other acts.

Ana, who hangs by her hair, among other acts.

There's Ana from Brazil, who hangs by her hair and swings around in the air. "It is very painful. You learn to tolerate it but never get used to it," she revealed.

Ana, flying in the air!

Ana, flying in the air!

There's Olena, the hula hoop master from Ukraine.

The Mongolian Angels trapeze duo.

The gorgeous Mongolian Angels trapeze duo Oyungerel Davaatseren and Davaasuken Altantsetseg

Angels

They were Olivia's favorite act!

 

There's the Mongolian Angels, a trapeze duo who started touring with the circus at age 14. They train and workout a few hours every day.

Relaxing before the show

Oyungerel relaxing before the show

I was amazed to learn many of the performers are born into the business and are family acts, but those that aren't often start training very young (pre-puberty) and are ready to tour by their early teens. Such a thing exists as circus college, where one can learn balance, gymnastics, acrobatics, high wire, trapeze, gymnastics, and other skills for this industry.

 

Susanna Seafire, from Maui.

Susanna Seafire, from Maui.

Me with two Hawaii residents!

Me with two Hawaii residents!

 

Many of them have been doing this work for a couple of decades.

The Amazing Raymond, another local.

The Amazing Raymond, another local.

They tour for about 10 months a year so they become each other's ohana. "I love these people. I don't have a wife and children and these people are everything to me," affirmed Cornell "Tuffy" Nicholas, the show producer, a lifer in the biz.

The youngest performer is age four. She has so much stage presence and charisma! As a mother, I fully realize now that one is either born with it or not. This little girl just went out and wowed the crowd.

I appreciate the joy and laughter these hard-working folks bring to audiences around the world, and a tiny part of me was tempted to want to run away and join the circus too, because it looks like fun. However, I could not imagine touring for 90 percent of the year.

Some of these people have children at home waiting for them. That part would break my heart. This is certainly not a job, but a lifestyle.

My walk from backstage to the ring.

My walk from backstage to the ring.

When it was time to open the show, I donned a sequined jacket and walked down a long carpet into the ring as announcer Al Waterson introduced me. My job was to get the audience excited. I had a very short script that presented the show and the real ringmasters. It was brief but so much fun!

The show itself was amazing. To be clear, no animals were in the show. This circus is more like the Cirque acts in Las Vegas, than the flaming-hoop-jumping-tiger deals of yesteryear.

For most of the two hours, I literally had my mouth agape with wonder, fear, or a little bit of both, as the acrobats executed the most precise and incredible acts. Sometimes it was, *gasp* Is he going to fall? Is she going to catch her trapeze partner? Sometimes it was, How does she do that?!

My daughter loved the clown acts interspersed in the show. At seven years of age, her sense of silly is at its ripest.

There was also a high-stakes balancing act, an illusionist, a contortionist, jugglers, and much more.

My daughter was thrilled to attend. Before we went, she was expecting the traditional circus that her storybooks illustrate - you know, Dumbo and the like. After we left, she exclaimed, "I loved it! Can we go back?"

I'm dreaming of the circus...

I'm dreaming of the circus...

The circus has packed up and left for now, but the next time it's in town, I know where we're going!