Homesick.

Last night, my cousin’s fiance had a bachelorette party back in Hawaii. I’m incredibly close to her and I know if I were back in Hawaii, I would’ve been there. They looked like they were having so much fun. I sat at home playing video games.

Then, the feeling washed over me: I miss Hawaii. I miss home. 

I get homesick a lot. Everyday. I know I made my choice by moving to the mainland, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been a good decision. The one thing I really miss from Hawaii is my family.

I grew up with a huge family. My mom one of 12, my dad one of six. My cousins were the older siblings I never had and the younger siblings I never wanted. My aunties and uncles were second parents. I loved the way I grew up.

I find myself daydreaming of moving back. I imagine C and I finding a house, regardless of how expensive it is there. I see my future kids running around with my cousin’s kids. I see family parties sitting around with my cousins, just talking story. I see my mom and dad coming to visit, cooking dinner at my place, babysitting my kids…

My parents tell me not to come back because Hawaii just isn’t what it was before. It’s too expensive, the traffic is horrible, what is there to do? I could find cheaper housing up here. They could come move up here with me when I have kids. I don’t think they understand what kind of effect raising me in Hawaii had on me. I want my future kids to have the culture I grew up with, I want them surrounded by family every holiday and birthday, I want them to have what I had.

Here, they’ll be alone, the way we are. C and I don’t mind having just each other. I don’t want that for my future kids.

Home will always be Hawaii. It’ll always be a 7-11 musubi down the road, or Foodland Ahi Limu Poke, or laulau from L&L’s. It’ll always be a beach, a hike, an endless view of the ocean. It’ll always be family parties with homemade lumpia and puto-flan, plastic chairs sitting in rows in a garage, bedrooms filled to the brim with teenage cousins, houses with children running around and screaming.

Home will always be where my family is.

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Disney Movie Club: Terms & Review

(This is my own personal review and not sponsored by Disney or Disney Movie Club)

I love all things Disney, for the reasons that everyone else in the world does and more. When C and I moved to San Diego, getting a Disneyland Annual Pass was my secret mission. It’s been two years since, and we (or at least, I) haven’t looked back.

About a year ago, I started seeing ads for Disney Movie Club. They were offering five Disney movies for $1…. $1?! That’s unreal. But, I signed up for it anyway, because I have no self control whatsoever. About two weeks later, I got my movies in the mail.

Now there’s a reason why it’s called Disney Movie Club. As a club, there are terms that you need to follow. When I first researched it, I was a little nervous about the commitment, but I realized that the terms weren’t so bad and they were something I would go through regardless of being in the club or not.

So, finally, here are the terms:

  1. After you sign up with a credit card to get your 5 movie offer, you must fulfill your commitment purchases of 5 Movies at full Club price.
    (Basically, the normal price of a DVD/Blu-ray whether you buy it in store or online… about $20 or more).
  2. You have 24 months (2 years) to fulfill your commitment.
    (Not bad, right? I did it in six months)
  3. About every 4 weeks, DMC will offer you a feature title in your email (or through the mail, if that’s your preferred form of communication).
    You are not obligated to purchase the feature title.

    In order to avoid being charged for the feature title, you must either reject or accept the offer on the website or through the mail that they send you.
  4. If you do not fulfill your commitment in 24 months, you will be charged the full price for the 5 movies you received as your introductory offer.

DMC isn’t for everyone, but as a person who intended on buying many Disney movies sooner or later for myself and my future children, I could get behind the terms with no problem. A year later and I’m still ordering from them, at least 3 – 4 DVDs at a time, because they constantly offer discounts on buying multiple movies. My collection has flourished.

I would say DMC would not be for you if:

• You don’t care for hard copy DVDs and/or prefer digital copies
• You don’t plan on purchasing many Disney movies (I personally want all of them, some people are only fans of a few films)
• You don’t keep up with your email much (that’s where you need to keep track of your commitment and accepting/rejecting the feature titles)
• You don’t like commitments (not a jab at anyone, but I know many who don’t like phone contracts or gym contracts… so if you’re one of them, you wouldn’t like this)

My recommendations and tips for the club:

• Do things online. I do everything online. Everything through the mail takes longer and there’s always the possibility of your responses getting lost. Online is instant.
They will send you opportunities to order more movies with your movie delivery, but you can literally do all of that and more online.

• Do not forget to accept or reject the feature titles, otherwise they will charge you every month for a movie you probably don’t want. This is where people complain and things go wrong, but as long as you don’t forget, it won’t cause a problem. I have literally rejected almost every feature title with just a click and there were no issues.

• After you’ve fulfilled your commitment, you are instantly in VIP status, where you have amazing discounts and special offers. I’ve gotten free tote bags, VIP pins, and 50% off more movies.

• Don’t forget to sign up for Disney Movie Rewards after you get your first 5 movies. Inside each movie, there’s a code you can input on DisneyMovieRewards.com, and with your points, you can get things! I got a free Snow White Poster, but you could also use the points to get more DVDs! 

Why am I giving all this information? I personally love using DMC to build my collection. Whenever a new Disney movie came out in theaters, I could to pre-order if I wanted (I got Moana this way). They also have special diamond/anniversary/platinum editions of classics that could cost more elsewhere. I decided a long time ago that I would start a Disney movie collection, and this club was my inspiration to just start now.

If you’re interested in signing up for Disney Movie Club, use my referral link for the promo: http://fbuy.me/ek__h

Happy Watching!

Babies…

Starting a family has been on my mind quite a lot lately.

I’m 25, been married for three years, and I’m always wondering if I should’ve been having kids already.

I still feel too young. I still feel like I’m not ready. When I say this to people who ask, they say “You’ll never feel ready, the best thing to do is just let it happen.”

I like having plans. I like sticking to my plans. Getting married after college wasn’t a plan I thought I was going to follow, but it was a possibility, so I made a plan for that. C getting out of the Marines after his first enlistment wasn’t in the plans, but moving from Hawaii was, and we followed that regardless.

My current situation wasn’t in my personal plans, but it’s working out the way I expected it would be. I know how to adapt and overcome, and make new plans, and I feel calm and safe knowing that it’s going the way I thought it would.

Babies have always been a ways away. I always told myself I wouldn’t even start trying until after C and I have our big wedding, and after three years, I am proud of myself for sticking to it. My plan was to start in two years. I could wait that much longer, easy.

Thing is, I have this weird thing where I don’t get my period. It’s been happening since I was in high school. I would only get my period when I took birth control, but when I’m off it, it never comes on its own. This has got me seriously concerned about my fertility and whether or not I will be able to bear healthy children when the time comes. (I’ve recently started seeing a doctor about it and haven’t seen an OB-GYN yet, but I will soon).

At 25, I worry that now may be the time to start trying. Whenever my mom sees me, or when I call, she asks if I’m pregnant yet. My aunties all tell me they can’t wait for me to start having kids. My dad even had a talk with me about starting now, because it’s harder when I get older… but inside, I don’t feel even the least bit ready.

I can’t even take care of myself and I give up trying to take care of C sometimes. I don’t even have a full-time job right now. I have some big plans career wise that need to start by next year, and they can’t be done while pregnant. I still want to travel. We still rent.

We haven’t even had our big wedding, which shouldn’t be important, but it’s important to me. If we’re struggling to save up for that, a kid is forever, and who knows if we’re financially stable enough to give them the lifestyle they deserve?

When I have a child, I want my parents to be able to help me, and it’s hard with me in San Diego and them in Hawaii. This is what worries me. I want them to grow up with cousins and family constantly around like I did, but with our choice in moving, it’s almost impossible. I want these things figured out before I even start trying.

And then… I don’t want to get my hopes up because with the way my menstrual cycle is, I may be stuck with the worst case scenario.

Maybe I should start trying now and see where it goes. It crosses my mind a lot. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

 

 

 

Colorado (Photos!)

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I. Loved. Colorado.

For the long Labor Day weekend we had, we decided to visit C’s brother while he’s stationed up in Colorado Springs.

C and I always knew we’d like Colorado based on what we’ve seen online and heard from friends, but we didn’t expect to fall in love so hard. We wanted to join the rafters we saw going down the rivers, go fishing on the lakes, jump into the waters, climb all the mountains…

BEAUTIFUL is the only way to describe the place, truly.

In some years when C is done with his this first reserve enlistment with the Navy, we plan on moving out of San Diego (sadly). Colorado is a high contender. If we can convince his older brother to move there too, and his younger brother eventually, it’s a done deal.

I hope we’ll be back again one day.

Hi, It’s Been A While…

The funny thing is that I literally have 10 drafts of posts that I just never finished in the last two months. I figure it’s time to come back and update myself on where I’m at.

It’s the middle of August, and the last time I wrote was in June. The past two months I’ve been hanging out with high school friends here for the summer, doing extra hours on my interim job (enough to pay my share of the bills AND put money into savings, hooray! Doesn’t beat a real career though…), and planning the rest of the year.

We moved into a new apartment yesterday after our current place decided to hike the rent up $200. Renting sucks. I can’t wait for the day C and I are financially stable, at a good point in our lives, and ready to buy a house. We’re still debating on where, though.

San Diego is everything — one six-hour flight to Hawaii, Las Vegas only a five-hour drive away for holidays, mild winters, easy summers, and DISNEYLAND ANNUAL PASSES. What more could I ask for? Well, affordable housing. That’s what I’d ask for. The market isn’t as unrealistic as Hawaii is, but it’s still not a trade-off.

Las Vegas is our second choice. Beautiful mini mansions for the price of a studio apartment, enough family to fill up a backyard for a birthday party, cheap cheap CHEAP, and only a three-hour drive to Disneyland. The downside? Weather. Dry heat. Hot wind that hurts your face in 110 degrees. I don’t know if i could live with that.

Hawaii is always in the back of my mind, but unless we win the lottery and somehow they evict half of the population, I don’t think we’ll ever move back. Yearly trips, of course, but not to settle down.

Anyway, aside from that, we planned a trip to Colorado for the end of the month and I’m so pumped. I’m almost certain we’re going to fall in love with the state and we’re going to want to move there as soon as possible. We’re spending three days in Colorado Springs (C’s brother is stationed around there) and then three days in Denver. Rocky Mountain National Park? OF COURSE!

After Colorado, some friends are coming to visit in October, and then in November we’re back in Hawaii for my cousin’s wedding. We’re trying to squeeze in a trip to Lake Tahoe before the year starts, and that’s when things are going to get interesting.

But, I’ll save that for when I’m ready to talk about it.

Hopefully it won’t be another two months before I write again.

Allbirds Wool Runner Review

IMG_4522Check out these crazy comfy shoes at Allbirds.com!

C and I have been wanting new shoes for a long time. My interim job is work from home, so since I almost never leave our apartment, I only have a pair of Nikes that I use for the gym and a pair of Converse II’s for everything else. C’s just a sneakerhead.

Allbirds, a New Zealand brand priding on their shoes made of wool, kept showing up on my Facebook ads. “Turns out, the world’s most comfortable shoe is made of wool,” they boast on their homepage. I clicked around, and what caught my interest was the minimalist look the runners had. No flash brand logos, no crazy bold designs or colors, just a simple shoe. I wasn’t sold on them yet, though. At $95 a pair, I wanted to be sure they’d be worth it.

I found out a friend of mine had a pair (albeit for less than a year) and he had nothing but great things to say about Allbirds; They were so comfortable, he used them for hiking, you can wear them without socks, and you can throw them in the laundry. I did think he was a little biased, though, because director Taika Waititi wears them and… my friend is an obsessive fan. So I took it with a grain of salt. It was everything repeated from the website, anyway.

I did a little more research and saw people complained about it smelling after a few weeks wearing them — with no socks. Others complained that because of the wool material, it made their bare feet sweat. Others said the wool was too thin and they could feel their toes about to burst a hole where it rubs. Now, there were a lot of people who bought the shoes because of the testament that you could wear them without socks. If I was one of those people, I probably wouldn’t have bought the shoes. BUT, I intended to wear socks all the time with these, so I gave them a shot. C just trusted my judgement and told me to order him a pair too. I got the gray ones and C got the black ones.

The shoes got to us in San Diego within a week, which was perfect timing for Disneyland Resort the next day. What better place to try out the most comfortable shoes in the world?

First impressions: a very neutral shoe style and color that goes with anything, which I liked. I usually prefer plain black and white colors over all black styles, so I chose the gray. Putting them on, I noticed how soft and comfortable they were. I wore some cheap H&M thin-ish socks so that it didn’t feel too hot on the inside and I could still get that extra layer of protection that I wanted. I did notice that you could see the outline of the edges of my feet jutting out a bit (pinky toe area), but my feet are weirdly shaped. C’s feet are more “normal” and narrower than mine, so he was fine.

It took an hour of walking around California Adventure Park for the shoes to break in for me. And when they did, they BROKE. IN. All of a sudden, it felt like I was walking on pillows! I have relatively flat feet, but the insoles were plush and kept my feet comforted and supported from 10:00 am to 1:00 am the next day. I was obsessed. My feet did start to hurt towards the end of the night, but that was just because it’s been awhile since I had walked so much. I did notice, however, it only hurt when I was standing or sitting. When it came time to walk again, the pain went away. I am obsessed with these insoles.

I kept singing praises but C has no real opinion on them. He doesn’t love them, but he doesn’t hate it either. He said it’s probably because he got them wet and, because of the wool, they soaked through to his socks and it was wet for a few hours. So that’s the one con about them — don’t wear these shoes on wet days.

I will be continuing to use these on any days where I expect to be walking a lot. I know enough not to use these as running/gym shoes. I’ve seen reviews that state the shoes wear out pretty quickly, so I’m hoping to see how long these will last with the amount of work I do in them.

But, at this point, I absolute love the Allbirds wool runners and would definitely recommend anyone to try them if they’re thinking about it!

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (Photos!)

With a three day weekend available to us, we decided to spend it at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

C and I were both born and raised in Hawaii. I used to think that nothing could beat the views Hawaii had to offer, but I was wrong. The ocean is everything to me but these forests and canyons are something we could get used to.

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It still amazes us that we can literally drive four hours and end up in a completely different environment. Five hours from sunny San Diego landed us in forests, canyons, and rivers. Six hours from San Diego and we could end up in Arizona or Nevada, exploring new cities. It’s not a struggle to fly anymore, we just hop in the car and go. No need to save for expensive flights, just money for gas and food along the way.

We love our new lives here outside of Hawaii. Can’t wait for more adventures.