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This is how rumors start

April 1st, 2015

I was on the phone with my friend Christy. It took me a week to return her call. By way of apology, I said, "I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but I've been busy and tired."

We had bad reception. There was a long pause on her end and then she said, "WHAT? REALLY?"

She has young kids, too, and I thought she was joking, so I continued, "Yeah, I know, right?"

Christy said, "You're FIRED?!"

Me: "No, no. Tired! With a T! Fatigued."

"Ooooh. OK!!"

Here is another one. Olivia wanted to give me a massage because I was tired. Sweet, right?

Anyway, I thanked her and praised her and told her what a good job she was doing. She delights in the compliments.

"I'm a good rubber!" she exclaimed.

"We call it massaging," I corrected.

"I'm rubbing you. I'm a rubber!" she insisted.

Another one:

At Christmas, we had an assembly line for decorating the tree. Claus pulled the ornaments from the box, I put the hook on, and she found the spot on the tree.

Praise, praise, praise on what a great job she's doing. You know the drill.

She wanted to return the compliment so she told me I'm a good hooker. Claus thought that was so funny he encouraged it by saying, "Yes, Mommy can sure put the hooks on really well!"

"You're such a good hooker, Mommy!"

Let us hope this is not a story repeated at school where it will surely be taken out of context. So far, CPS has not called me.

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki’s April specials

March 31st, 2015

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki celebrates its birthday in April and it's offering a few specials:

Courtesy: Emma Haber

Courtesy: Emma Haber

Icing on the Cake Special

In honor of Shoreline’s April birthday, the island-chic Joie de Vivre hotel is gifting guests a 20% discount on best available rates during the month-long celebration. The icing on the cake is a “Paradise Coconut” specialty cupcake - from the award-winning Hokulani Bake Shop - for guests to enjoy upon arrival.

Courtesy: Emma Haber

Courtesy: Emma Haber

Birthday Bike Tour

Since Shoreline Hotel Waikiki embraces everything art and design, the hotel is once again partnering up with Pedal Bike Tours to offer an artsy birthday bike tour of colorful Waikiki. From the bronze Ghandi statue by the Honolulu Zoo, to the Rainbow Tower, the tour offers a unique glimpse of iconic and historic Waikiki art. A birthday celebration wouldn't be the same without a little birthday treat, so guests will enjoy a complimentary stop for a refreshing sweet treat at new natural health food spot, Heavenly Island Lifestyle at Shoreline Hotel Waikiki, upon completing the two-hour tour. The tours will be organized and booked separately ($39 per person) - through the hotel’s concierge- at an exclusive, Joie de Vivre Hotels-only 20 percent discount. The expiration for this package is April 30th, 2015. Availability will be based on occupancy. The packages can be located via Joie de Vivre's "Specials" page.

Courtesy: Emma Haber

Courtesy: Emma Haber

Anniversary Totes

As the designer of JdV’s current in-room totes, Happy Town Hawaii designer Tamar Wong did it again and created the hotel's new birthday-themed totes. Now her ethically-minded, limited edition totes are available exclusively for purchase on property. Reflective of Shoreline’s casual-chic, unique look and feel, the 100% recycled cotton, customized canvas bags invite JdV guests to carry the spirit of the islands with them.

Meditation with chores

March 30th, 2015

I've come to realize I like hanging up the laundry. I've done it for years - we have a clothesline - both to reduce my carbon footprint and to reduce my electricity bill.

I'm the only one who does it. I have never minded it - and my mother, aunts, and grandmother did it - and when time and energy allows, I hang up the clothes. If not, I toss it in the dryer.

Of all the house chores, I like doing the laundry the most. I never have five piles waiting for me by the weekend. I have other cleaning tasks that need dire attention, but not dirty clothes.

From all these years viewing it from a neutral standpoint, I just made the leap in my mind that I actually like hanging up clothes. Why? Because it's ME TIME!

I'm slow to this party. Other mothers know this secret. My work friend Jennifer Humphrey has two young boys, and her Me Time is going to the grocery store without children because "you can take your time, walk through the aisles, think about what you want to make. It's different when I'm with them and I have to rush through as quickly as possible."

With my laundry, nobody wants to help, and I have definitely asked repeatedly before. They think it's like, the kiss of death or something.

Claus will only use the dryer, which I do not criticize because at least he's getting it done. Olivia just doesn't want to, and it's more trouble than it's worth for me to stand there and tell her over and over again what to do.

The other day I realized it's like running away, without running away. I'm going to a place that still qualifies as Mommy Being At Home, yet far enough away to not be disturbed. They know if they come out they risk being made to work so they avoid the laundry area when they know I'm headed out.

The other week, I was hanging up clothing and listening to Olivia whine at Claus over something. And I hid out there.

I noticed I was zoning out pleasantly as I hung up the latest batch. I like laundry. It's clean, it smells good, and I am mostly just standing still doing a soothingly repetitive motion. I now look forward to having to hang up (or taken down) clothes.

It's perfect! I can actually go somewhere ten feet away that people will actively avoid! It's like teleporting to a secret place! Some people hide in the bathroom, but I escape to the laundry room!

I used to hide in my home office but sometimes people would still open the door without knocking and come inside, or whine outside the door that they wanted to come in. Then I would have to tell my husband to just give me ten more minutes.

The secret is to find a place nobody wants to go! Why didn't I think of this before! I should also start adding in yard-poop cleanup! I'll be treated like a measles-carrier!

I'm both pleased with myself for figuring this out, and a little sad when I look at what now constitutes, for me, joy. There was a time when I was hip with the latest trends and food eateries, able to go out to concerts, and planning hikes and surf dates with my friends.

Today, my pleasure is in realizing the laundry room is a fun place to be. Parenting=FUN!

I'm now strategizing how often I can wash clothes (and pick up poop - can I honestly hide in the yard for an hour "picking up poo" when we only have one dog?)

*sigh* At least we probably have the cleanest clothes on the block.

What's your secret hideout from the family?

Custom curtains

March 27th, 2015

Olivia said she's tired of her green walls and asked me to paint her room pink. I said no.

It took me three years to paint the chalkboard wall. She might get pink walls by graduation. By then her favorite color will be blue.

I told her the next biggest thing we could do the change the room would be to change the curtains. She has drapes that are 80 inches long, so it practically takes up the wall.

She was excited, so I brought her to the fabric store to pick out material. In my mind, I envisioned super cute tokidoki curtains. Maybe, for variety, three different backgrounds but all fitting the same character theme. (Sanrio set me up well to become a fan of tokidoki.)

I remember when I was a child, my tastes ran so counter to what the adults liked. When I crafted with my mother and aunts (which was constant), I always thought their suggestions for my projects were so boring. Now, I'm that boring adult.

The first thing she asked for in the store was a fuzzy rug material that was neon green and fluorescent pink. <?!?> For curtains?? No.

Also, knowing that she changes her mind every other week, I told her it would have to be fabric on a budget. I gave her a price limit of $4 a yard, though I ended up giving in and letting her go up to $6 a yard.

To my amusement/ horror, she wanted three different materials for the three separate curtain panels. Olivia has always been really colorful so it wasn't a total surprise, but none of her materials match. I pointed that out, but she didn't care.

Then, the project gets more elaborate. She saw the notions section with all the sequins, ribbon roses, and lace, and asked me to embellish the curtains.

The chosen fabrics and notions.

The chosen fabrics and notions.

"Honey, this is rather complicated for Mommy. I'm not the best seamstress. I'm a desk worker," I pushed back.

"But! You ARE THE BEST seamstress! You made me that skirt! Please?" she said sincerely.

And visions of Super Mommy danced in my head. I acquiesced. "OK. Pick out the decorations."


I walked out of the store having spent double the money and committing to double the work.


Two weeks later, I finally finished the curtains. Naturally, it took even longer than I thought because half the notions needed to be hand sewn.

Hand sewn ribbon roses and sequins.

Hand sewn ribbon roses and sequins.


Good grief. If I was more experienced I could have realized that in the store and rejected it.

They are pretty cute, though when taken as a collective, so mismatched!

63rd Cherry Blossom Festival Ball crowns new Queen and Court

March 25th, 2015

The 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival Ball named its new Festival Queen and Court over the weekend. They are:

The 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival Court from left: Princess Jessica Naomi Kaleikaimana Kaneshiro, Princess Kyla Miyuki Teramoto, Queen Kimberly Kimiko Takata, 1st Princess and Miss Congeniality Rosalei Teruko Chinen, Princess Celina Kiyomi Quach and Miss Popularity Heather Rie Miura. (Photo: Chris Kwock/Cherry Blossom Festival)

The 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival Court from left: Princess Jessica Naomi Kaleikaimana Kaneshiro, Princess Kyla Miyuki Teramoto, Queen Kimberly Kimiko Takata, 1st Princess and Miss Congeniality Rosalei Teruko Chinen, Princess Celina Kiyomi Quach and Miss Popularity Heather Rie Miura. (Photo: Chris Kwock/Cherry Blossom Festival)

Queen: Kimberly Kimiko Takata
First Princess and Miss Congeniality: Rosalei Teruko Chinen
Princess: Jessica Naomi Kaleikaimana Kaneshiro
Princess: Celina Kiyomi Quach
Princess: Kyla Miyuki Teramoto
Miss Popularity: Heather Rie Miura

In this evening, 13 Queen contestants demonstrated the poise, self confidence and Japanese culture learned over the past six months. The program opened with a rousing taiko performance by the contestants under the tutelage of master taiko artist Kenny Endo and Taiko Center of the Pacific.

For the Western phase, the contestants graced the stage dressed in elegant evening gowns generously provided by Casablanca Bridal & Formals. For the Eastern phase, the Contestants were garbed in authentic silk furisode kimono flown in especially for the Festival by Diamond Sponsor Watabe Wedding.

The Festival Ball was also the last official appearance of the 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Queen, Sarah Kiyomi Kamida, and the members of the 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Court.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawaii, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival spans from January to March 2015.

Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned. For more information about this, go to

All the photos from this year's festival are posted at