aloha Hawaii

Our trip included 10 days on O’ahu which allowed us to circle the island twice. We stayed in several different places on the island in several different areas. During our trip we hiked, shopped, explored, and hung out at the beach. This packing list that I am providing includes the items that worked for us. I have offered commentation on the big “why” behind the items listed. You may need to add to this packing list if you are staying longer, doing different activities than we did, or attending an event.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


cute Tanks & T-shirts
multiple pairs of Shorts
1 pair of Moisture-Wicking Pants/Shorts
1-2 pairs of pants, jeans are appropriate
2-3 Sundresses
Lightweight Hoodie or Sweater
Lightweight Jacket
3-4 Bathing Suits (in Hawaii, the tinier, the better!)
a couple of swimsuit cover-ups
comfortable Underwear
Sports Bras

Winter in O’ahu is warm enough for the beach during the day, but it gets chilly at night so be sure to pack clothing that is appropriate for both times of the day. Also, there are several amazing hikes available on the island, we did a few hikes before sunrise and they were wet and chilly, which is why I recommend the moisture-wicking gear. Honolulu people were dressed up for dinner, otherwise shorts, a tank, and flips were the standard uniform – go with it.

What Tt Pack While On O'ahu


Hats: Sun Hat, Ball Cap
multiple pairs of Sunglasses
Bandana / Headbands
small Umbrella
Surf attire (if you plan on surfing)

I would imagine the majority of your time will be spent at the beach, hiking, touring or eating. You won’t need much for any of these activities – just you, your clothing, and a small day pack or beach bag. Don’t over-think it.

What To Pack while on O'ahu


comfortable Flip Flops
Hiking or Trail shoes
Running Shoes
lightweight Hiking Socks

You’ll find that most people on the island wear flip flops, no matter what they’re doing. The only time I wasn’t wearing flips while on the island is when I was hiking and jogging along the beach.

What to Pack While On O'ahu 


Bobby Pins
Hair Ties
Nail Clippers / File
Lip Balm w/ SPF
Insect Repellent
Cortisone Anti-Itch Cream
Hand Sanitizer

Most of these items are readily available for purchase on the island, so pack light and stock up when you arrive – just know that the items are more expensive on the island.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


Waterproof Video Camera, I recommend a GoPro Hero Cam
Selfie Stick (everyone on the island has them!)
Laptop (I recommend you dump your memory cards at the end of each day)
Travel Alarm Clock
Spare batteries
Spare Memory Cards

I always hesitate to pack so many electronics, but never regret having them with me. The island as safe, so don’t worry about your stuff being stolen unless you let it sit in the front seat of a rental car. Take a good camera, you’ll get some amazing photos. Dump your memory cards at night, just in case. Be shameless about selfies, everyone on the island is doing it. Take an alarm clock to wake you up before sunrise – trust me, you’ll want to get up to watch the sunrise. You’ll need a flashlight to hike in the dark.

Kailua, O'ahu Hawaii


Reading Books
Guidebook (I liked Fodor’s O’ahu Guidebook)
Pens & Pencils
Art supplies (if you’re in to that)
Mesh Laundry Bag
Travel Yoga Mat
Backpack Food (for hiking & beaching)
a Beach Bag
a Beach Blanket 
a Day Pack (for hiking or tours)

Don’t worry about packing beach towels, anywhere you stay will most likely provide them. Take a blanket though, it’s a great supplement to a beach towel and it will keep you warm on your sunset/sunrise viewings. If you’re an artist, take your supplies – there is plenty of space and time to create art. With goggles alone, we were able to see a lot of fish underwater – we never even rented snorkel gear because we could see so much with the goggles.

What To Pack While On O'ahu


Driver’s License
Credit Cards 
Travel Itinerary

I would highly recommend reading though a guidebook and doing research PRIOR to your trip – have an idea of what you’d like to do/see before you get there. There is so much to see and do, you won’t be able to do it all in one trip (chances are) so find what is important to you! 

What To Pack While On O'ahu

What To Pack While On O'ahu




Popcorn Puppy Chow

We are completely snowed in today, for the second day in a row. Well, yesterday we braved the snow and went to a coral reef convention. Coming home from the convention should have taken us less than 30 minutes last night, but because of the snow, it took us 2.5 hours. After last nights debacle, we decided to drive nowhere today. We’ve enjoyed ourselves, for sure, and we’ve taken advantage of the time to get “things” done.. like, sync our calendars, book travel, google campsites, and all the stuff we’ve been meaning to but haven’t made time to do. I’m feeling accomplished.

During last nights car ride (that 2.5 hour car ride), I must have promised Patrick that I would make him some popcorn puppy chow. Just for fun. Who knows where I cam up with the idea? Maybe on Pinterest? That’s what I was doing while we were in the car going nowhere, I was pinning on Pinterest. Anyway, I was nauseous yesterday, and barfing. I shouldn’t talk about barfing on the blog here, but I am because being nauseous is what prompted me to buy 2 bags of popcorn. Popcorn was the only thing I could eat yesterday, although I certainly didn’t eat 2 bags full. So I had all this popcorn leftover today and after hours of sitting on the couch, staring at my laptop, I decided to get up and fulfill my promise – that Popcorn Puppy Chow. 

So I made my puppy chow. But I made it up as I went along so I don’t even have a formal recipe… Everyone is asking for a recipe, and everyone is asking for it NOW. Ha. So anyway, this post. 

Cokie Butter, Dark Chocolate, Popcorn Puppy Chow

The informal RECIPE goes a little something like this: 

1. Buy a bag of Earth Balance Buttery Popcorn. 
2. In a double boiler, melt 2 bars of dark chocolate, a few scoops of peanut butter, and a scoop or two of Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s). If you don’t have a double boiler, learn how to fake one.
3. In a large bowl, pour the melted chocolate mixture over the popcorn and stir gently until all of the popcorn is evenly saturated. You may have to do this in small batches. 
4. Put the chocolatey popcorn and some powdered sugar, AND some cinnamon (if you’d like) in a large, sealable baggie and shake it until the popcorn is coated evenly.
5. Allow the popcorn to cool for a few minutes before serving – or dig in right away, you get to choose.


1 bag of Earth Balance Popcorn
2 bars dark chocolate 
about 3-4 cups powdered sugar
a few large scoops of peanut butter
a few scoops of Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s) (if you don’t have cookie butter, I pity you, you can just use peanut butter or any type of nut butter – you choose)
a few teaspoons of cinnamon (not completely necessary, but I recommend!)

I apologize for the imperfect recipe, I had to get it out there with a quickness! I’ve got people clawing at my throat for this recipe after seeing photos on social media. Maybe one day I’ll formalize this recipe, but maybe not. This is one that you throw together on a rainy day with ingredients that you’ve already got on hand. If you’ve got questions about the recipe, holler at me and hopefully I can help! xo




Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Pot Pit

Valentine’s weekend has come to and end (booooo) and the snowfall covered Denver in a powdery, white layer overnight. So, while it’s back-to-real-life and a joyous, relaxed weekend with my babe, the fresh snow makes this Monday morning a leisurely one. Luckily, I’m not in a rush to get anywhere today, I can relax on the couch and watch the snowfall out the windows.

A day like today prompts a craving for comfort food and warmth, comfort food such as a pot pie or a big bowl of soup, accompanied by hot chocolate, big blankets, and fuzzy socks. I’d like to pretend that today is a weekend day, a snow day, and have all of these things.

I made these Sweet Potato/Butternut Squash Pot Pies about a week ago, and haven’t had time to share the recipe on the blog until today. Today ends up being the most appropriate day to share, in my opinion because: snow. I got my inspiration for this recipe from a package of butternut squash ravioli. I was all like “butternut squash in a pot pie would be even more amazing than inside this little ravioli” ….and voila.

a {vegan} Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Pot Pie recipe
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1¼ cup vegan cream
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté the brussels sprouts, sweet potato cubes, and butternut squash cubes in coconut oil until fragrant, about 5 mins. Add seasonings and sauté for another minute or so.
  3. Add the cream, water, brown sugar, and flour. Turn heat to medium and allow to cook until the mixture has thickened.
  4. Make the pie crust (recipe listed below) and gently lay the crust over the pie baking dish(es)**, gently form the edges with your fingers. The crust should extend to the top of the baking dish.
  5. Add the filling to the dish(es) then cover with another layer of pie crust. Use your fingers to crimp the top layer of crust to the bottom layer. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork or knife.
  6. Bake the pie(s) for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust has browned slightly.
  7. Let cool slightly before serving, the pies get hot!!
**You can make one large pot pie, or several small pot pies, it's your choice. I like to make my pot pies in 6' x 6' baking dishes.
pie crust
  • 1 heaping cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon cold non-dairy butter
  • 3-6 tablespoons cold water
  1. Mix salt and flour together, then cut butter into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until well blended.
  2. Add enough water to allow the dough to scrape away from the bowl, usually about 3-5 tablespoons.
  3. Remove the mixture from the bowl, and mold together with your hands on a well-floured surface. Form into a 1-inch thick disc and then roll out in to a shape that will fit your baking dish(es), adding more flour if it's sticky.

 I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did, it’s mostly sweet from the sweet potatoes and butternut squash, with just enough savory from the brussels sprouts and rosemary. 

Also, it warms up well so make extra!!




Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I haven’t even eaten any chocolate yet this week! Psh. I went out and purchased some (chocolate) candies and I plan to make something chocolatey this evening…. I’m just not sure what yet. 

I searched through the blogs archives and I found some pretty good stuff (pats self on back – just kidding) – chocolate + cherry, chocolate + peanut butter, chocolate + cinnamon whipped cream… I mean, seriously, YUM.

If you’re in the same boat as me (NEED chocolate, using Valentine’s Day as the justification), check out the vegan recipes below. 

Chocolate Cherry Sundae
Chocolate Cherry Sundae
Really, this is a smoothie, but it’s delectable enough to be called a sundae.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake
Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Chocolate + peanut butter will please anyone. And if someone tells you they don’t like chocolate and peanut butter together, know that they are crazy.

Drk Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
These truffles are easy to make and happy to be one of my all-time favorite treats. They are rich, creamy, chocolatey, and secretly made with avocado!

vegan Chocolate Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Chocolate Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
This recipe was inspired by an ice cream combination that was served to me at a farmers market, it was my favorite ice cream combination ever.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie
Again, the undeniable perfect combination of chocolate + peanut butter, with the addition of bananas and an oreo crust. DO it, because it’s goooood… (and has avocado hidden in the recipe as well)

Happy Valentines Day, my friends!!




Valentines Day is one of my favorite Holidays because I love celebrating love. And this year, I’m in love. Like, LOVE, love. Like, it’s all I can think about love. Like, my heart flutters 24/7 love. 

I also love chocolate, and hearts, and cute DIY valentines, and baking, and the mini love-themed surprises that come with Valentines Day. I wish I could tell you what I’m doing for Valentines Day but my love reads my blog and I don’t want to spoil it.

I also love my blog, and food, and Pinterest, and all of the Valentines Day inspiration that keeps me excited for weeks, eager celebrate love. And I love you all. 

My enthusiasm for the holiday this year and my love for PLQ readers has sparked the desire to 


3 Vegan Dessert-Themed Books
to one lucky reader,
on Valentines Day.

The 3 books I’m giving away:

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Isa Chandra:
This book includes my all-time favorite cupcake recipes. Actually, all of Isa’s recipes are my favorites… she’s good.

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats by Debbie Adler:
Debbie Adler has a popular vegan/gluten-free bakery in LA that draws in A-list celebrities. I’m dying to visit. Until that day, I’ll have to live vicariously through her recipes, and you can too! (if you’re the lucky winner!!)

Rawsome Vegan Baking by Emily von Euw: 
I haven’t had the opportunity to make any of the recipes out of this book, and it’s killing me. I want to keep the book but I’m giving it away to a lucky reader, because you deserve it! (don’t worry, I’ll be ordering another copy for myself!)

Vegan Book Giveaway

Enter To Win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all of you, and thank you for supporting peace. love. quinoa! 
ps. There ARE affiliate links in this post, however this post is sponsored by me, PLQ.




People who don’t know about Colorado think that Denver is a snowy, wintry mess and they snub it due to their lack of knowledge. Honestly, I didn’t know much about Denver’s awesome weather before I got here, and I almost don’t want to tell people about how awesome the weather is here because there are already too many people moving to this city! (LITERALLY, there aren’t even enough homes to house all the people that are moving here, it’s crazzzzy)

North Table Mountain

North Table Mountain

These photos were taken at North Table Mountain (which is about 20 mins from my new home) in January, the dead of winter.

Sure, the mountains get a lot of snow during the wintery months, but down here in the foothills we get very mild weather – a lot of 60’s and 70’s days, and on the day these photos were taken, 80’s. We were in tank tops and we were WARM.

North Table Mountain

The photo above shows the Denver skyline, from atop the mountain. 

North Table Mountain

North Table Mountain

You can see snow on this mountain, it sits on the side of the mountain that doesn’t get much sun. And sure, we get snow in Denver but it disappears within a day or two. It lasts just long enough to justify a “snow day” and hang out by the fireplace… then it’s back to the outdoors the following day.

North Table Mountain

My friend Samantha just moved to Colorado from Georgia. A she was planning her trip out here, her friends told her she needed an SUV, 4 wheel drive, and chains for her tires. It made me laugh, simply because many people really have no idea how good we have it here in Denver.

North Table Mountain

North Table Mountain

I’ve been sick the last two weeks (cold, flu, bronchitis, or a sinus infection – who knows) and I tend to avoid doctors and medicine. I just can’t bring myself to take a lot of medicine, so I don’t. Instead, I rest, drink lots of water, and allow myself some fresh mountain air. 

Although I felt much better after getting off the couch and becoming one with nature the day we took these photos, I am still waiting to kick this illness….

While many of my friends in the midwest figure out how to dig themselves out of the snow today, I’ll be out enjoying a Coloradical 65 degree, sunny day at the park with my doggie.

North Table Mountain




Peace Cafe O'ahu

Peace Cafe Oahu

Before we left for Honolulu, I made a list of vegetarian restaurants that I wanted to visit while we were there on the island. I only found 2 restaurants that I was dying to visit, Greens and Vines (the islands only raw/vegan restaurant), and the Peace Cafe. We never did make it to Greens and Vines but we LOVED the Peace Cafe, and we’re very happy we made the time to eat there, we did so on the same day we were hanging in Waikiki because of the close proximity.

When we were on the North Shore, a local told us to look up Beet Box, which is an all veg restaurant in the back of an organic grocery store – we went there twice because it was so damn good, probably our favorite restaurant on the island. 

Anyway, one of my favorite meals (there were so many, honestly) on the island came from the Peace Cafe. The Yogini plate (pictured below) was full of brown rice, beans, kale, seaweed, sprouts, and a yummy sauce. Patrick loved the food too, he has quickly become an advocate for vegan food (even though he knew nothing about eating veg before I met him) …it’s kind of adorable.

Two other restaurants we really liked: Sweet Home Waimanalo’s (a daytime cafe, serving light, healthy, organic, local foods and yummy, yummy smoothies) and Town (a great dinner spot, veg-friendly, locally-sourced, organic food).

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of veg-food options on the island – we ate dammmmn good there!

Peace Cafe Honolulu

Peace Cafe Honolulu




On a trip to O’ahu, a typical tourist would probably stay at a resort in Waikiki – there is nothing wrong with that because Waikiki has everything: beaches, shopping, restaurants, night life – however, it’s not my style at all. While in O’ahu, we spent one day in Waikiki, but I would have felt cheated had we spent any more time there because there is so much more to see and do on the island. 

So many people in my world have recently spent time in Hawaii, are in Hawaii now, or are planning a visit soon – which is one of the major reasons I am writing this post. 

This blog post was written based on my own experience, if you have had a different experience and know of “things-to-do” in O’ahu, I welcome you to share in the comments below :) 

 aloha Hawaii

1. Find & Visit some Hidden Beaches

I found an article on Conde Nast titled “Hawaii’s Best Hidden Beaches ” just a few days after returning to the main land. When reading it, I found excitement because we visited a few of the beaches on the list, however I was also bummed because we would have visited one of the beaches on the list had we known about it while we were there. I guess I’ll have to go back sometime soon to visit that beach -Luckily, we have friends in Hawaii who were able to show us a few hidden beaches!

The hidden beaches are worth looking up and seeking out, trust me. Do some research before you visit the island and plan which ones you’d like to find and visit. 

Beach in O'ahu

Yoga North Shore

North Shore Hobbit Hut

2. Visit the North Shore

There aren’t many hotels on the North Shore, so I don’t think many tourists get up to the North Shore unless they are bussed from Waikiki. While you are in O’ahu, you’re going to need to rent a car, as far as I’m concerned. There is too much to see and do on he island to be stuck in one place without a car. 

The North Shore is a beautiful, tropical part of the island, chockful of beautiful hidden beaches, surfers, farms, and lush greenery. It is a part of the island that you should definitely spend time at. Situated on a vast, green farm, we found a little hut to stay in for a few nights. The Hobbit Hut we stayed in sat amongst 2-3 other huts, a few tents, an open-air kitchen, and a yoga deck. We had beautiful views of Mt. Ka’ala, which is the highest point on the island. 

If you don’t get up to the North Shore on your trip to O’ahu, you are cheating yourself. 

North Shore Beach

Sunrise in Hawaii

3. Watch the Sunsets / Sunrises 

It’s not easy to think about setting an alarm clock and getting up at 5am while on vacation, but it’s WORTH IT to catch the Hawaiian sunrise. We got up on Christmas morning and did the Pillbox hike to watch the sunrise over the ocean. On a different morning, we planted ourselves on the beach (Waimanalo) to watch the sunrise before we went out for breakfast. Makapu’u Point is another place we loved for watching the sunrise -although it was packed with people, we loved it – arrive early! 

Our favorite place to watch the sunset was definitely at Mount Tantalus, a short drive to the top plants you in the perfect place to watch the sunset over the city of Honolulu. This is a place that you want to arrive early to, there will be a lot of people there, all racing to find the perfect place to plant themselves for one of the most beautiful sunsets they may ever witness.

Sunset over O'ahu


4. Hike 

There is no shortage of hikes to do while in O’ahu – ranging from “easy” to “dangerous”. It’s like a “choose-your-own-adventure” type situation – you get to choose how strenuous a hike you are up for. Regardless, all of the hikes are worth it. Our favorite hike was the Pillbox hike. When you get to the top, you have close to a 365 degree view of the island – it’s pretty sweet. 


Giovanni's Shrimp Truck O'ahu

5. Seek out the Food Trucks

There are several food trucks on the island, mostly scattered throughout the North Shore. If you drive up to the North Shore, you will surely run in to them. Our favorite food truck was Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. They make some killer shrimp with rice and tons of garlic. If you’re a non-vegan, you’ve def got to check out Giovanni’s. (If you’re a vegan, find Beet Box on the North Shore instead of visiting the food truck – then thank me later)

Surf North Shore 

6. Surf / SUP

 There are surfers and SUP’ers (SUP = Stand Up Paddle Board) on several of the beaches we visited on O’ahu, it’s hard to not involve in the activities. Riding the ocean water is an experience that goes unmatched. 

If you are the adventurous type, and you’re up for a thrilling experience, do yourself a favor and take surfing lessons. You may or may not get up on the board your first time out, but either way you will have the opportunity to experience some waves. 

If you’re looking for more of a leisurely activity, rent a SUP. SUP’ing requires a little balance, and a minimal level of physical fitness, so this is an activity well-suited for just about anyone. a paid-lesson shouldn’t be required to ride a Stand Up Paddleboard – once you’re up on the board, it’s pretty easy to get around.

SUP Hawaii

House in Kailua

7. Visit Kailua

Kailua is quite possibly one of my favorite towns on O’ahu. It’s definitely a “nicer” area, it’s close to the beach, and has an awesome Whole Foods! We rented a house via airbnb.com in Kailua, it sat in an adorable neighborhood just about 1 mile from the beach. In the morning, we got up and joked to the beach, swan for a few minutes, and jogged back. In the afternoons we went to Lanikai Beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in O’ahu.

If you can find a home to rent here for a few nights, I would highly recommend you do. 

fruit in Hawaii

8. Indulge in the Local Fruits 

Driving along the outer edge of the North Shore, you will find fruit stands along the side of the road that are stocked full of fruits and veggies that you can’t get here on the mainland. A few of my favorite finds were the Ice Cream Bananas and the Purple Sweet Potatoes, both could be compared to candy – they’re THAT good.

If you don’t get a chance to go to the North Shore for the fruits, check out the local grocery store (like Whole Foods) for the local fruits. Eat as much as you can while you’re there, and eat some more for me while you’re at it! 

China Wall O'ahu

9. China Wall

I would have NEVER known about the China Wall had it not been for my friends that live on the island. I feel lucky because  the China Wall was definitely one of my favorite places we visited. Lava rock, and pristine blue, blue beautiful waters make up your experience at the China Wall. We walked along the wall until we couldn’t walk anymore, and we saw people who were perched on the rocks for a “beach” day. There are a few places along the rock that are safe for swimming, and some places where the water is fierce. Had we been more prepared, we may have tried to snorkel around the wall. 

Coffee Garden

10. visit the Coffee Farm 

If you are a coffee drinker, you MUST check out the Green World Coffee Farm. They’ve got hundreds of flavors of coffees (or so it seems), and you can sample several of them! They also have a super sweet gift shop and you can tour the coffee garden! I’d never seen a coffee plant before, so this was a neat experience for me. We purchased some coffee from the farm, my boyfriend says it’s some of the best coffee he’s had.

Hawaiian Flowers

A few other things to do while in O’ahu: drink local Kona beer, eat everything with macadamia nuts, try an acai bowl (you can get them just about everywhere on the island including the coffee farm), and eat at Sweet Home Waimanalo’s (my favorite little veg-friendly restaurant on the island).




Ice Cream Banana

Picture this: In Hawaii, we stop at a fruit market off the side of the road on the North Shore and we find bananas labeled “ice cream banana” …. WHAT! You better believe we bought them!

Appropriately named “ice cream banana”, these little fruits (smaller than a banana found on the main land) actually do taste like ice cream – they are creamier than any banana I’ve ever eaten and they taste sweet, very sweet, and vanilla-ish – almost custard-like.

We ate the bananas on Christmas morning, after hiking to the top of a little mountain to watch the sunrise. We hiked in the pitch black dark, through tall wet grasses, just in time to see a beautifully colored sky…. there couldn’t have been a more perfect time to enjoy my new favorite fruit.

When I googled the ice cream banana, I found very little information on it so I don’t know much more about it aside from it being the best tasting banana I’ve ever had and that it can be found in Hawaii. So anyway, if you’re going to Hawaii, will you do yourself the favor of finding an ice cream banana or two?


Ice Cream Banana




As I was checking in for a yoga class last week, the instructor handed me a post-it note and asked me to write down one word that I wanted to commit to for that particular class but also for the entire year.

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, because they are hard to stick to, they get forgotten about, and I don’t necessarily need/want to make any drastic changes. Instead, I consciously make decisions, on a daily basis, that will benefit and enhance the person that I already am. I try to make decisions that will improve my well-being, but just like everyone else I make bad decisions – I recognize them, don’t beat myself up over them, and get back on track as quickly as I can.

On my little post-it note that the yoga instructor handed to me, I wrote “maintain health and wellness”. Maintaining health and wellness is not hard to do, it’s the time and commitment that’s hard. My commitment to myself this year is that I will STAY committed and continue allowing myself the time – making my health and well-being my #1 priority.

Luckily, I have an awesome boyfriend who is supportive of my commitments and has committed to his own health and well-being as well. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who are share the same goals, desires, and hobbies as yourself. I once heard someone say that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with and I completely agree. I took a look at the people I was surrounded by and realized that I had some negativity and bad energy in my circle – I got rid of them and can proudly say that my 5 people, the people I hang out with most often are positive, healthy, happy. successful individuals. I do realize that I became more happy, healthy, and successful when I changed my circle. 

Below are a few more things that I like to do and/or recommend my friends do in order to maintain my health and well-being:



Yoga is an exercise for your mental health, physical body, and spirit. It completely transforms your mind and body. Yoga helps to relieve stress, tension, muscle ache, heart ache, and anxiety. Yoga leads to meditation, which will help clear your mind and allow you to think more clearly.

After a yoga practice, I feel like I’m glowing inside and out.
On different days, I choose different types of yoga for different reasons – no matter what is going on in my life, no matter what my needs are, yoga is ALWAYS relevant.

Yoga is also about community – when you visit a yoga studio, you will find positive energy, make new friends, and leave will a feeling of fulfillment. When I meet fellow yogi’s, I’m always interested to hear their story – I know there is one, and I know it’ll always be a good one. 

Whether you are an athlete, non-athletic, spiritual, or not, flexible, or not, there is a yoga practice that will enhance your lifestyle, through words, meditation, or physical practice – I promise you that.

Green Smoothie: Avocado Pear


Green smoothies are the bomb! Looking at them, one may think they won’t be tasty, however when blended with sweet fruits, the taste of the healthy greens is disguised.

Green smoothies have a multitude of benefits including: an increased intake of fiber, an increased intake of fruits & veggies, natural weight loss, hydration, increased energy, mental clarity, clearer skin, reduced cravings, and overall better body function.

To kickstart health & wellness this year, one of the best things you can do is ditch the morning coffee and replace it with a healthy green smoothie! 

Here are a few green smoothie recipes to get you started:
Avocado Pineapple Smoothie
Orange Greensicle
Tart Green Apple
Strawberry Spinach Kiwi
Berry + Kale

Stand Up Paddleboard


New Year, New You, right?
We’ve all been there, and we’ve all said it.
We all also talk about getting in shape for bikini season.
Do yourself a favor this year, and don’t wait until bikini season to get in shape – start NOW!

There are so many fun things you can do in the winter months to stay in shape: hot yoga, indoor rock climbing, indoor swimming pools (+ sauna & hot tub!), or get a Class Pass… and since you’ll be indoors more during the cold months, it’s the perfect time to get more familiar with your kitchen and do some healthy cooking!

My boyfriend is a tri-athlete and trains hard during the season, then typically takes some time off during the off-season. This year, he decided to not take any time off so that when Tri Season approached, he wouldn’t have to get “back in shape.” I like his style, and am inspired by it.  

swim in O'ahu


We all know that vacations/getaways are necessary for your mind, your sanity, and productivity. Your mind and body both need breaks from routine. And anyway, life should be about having some fun! If you work, work, work, and never play – what’s the point? My favorite thing to do is go on vacation, or even take quick 1-3 day getaways. I feel like I’m winning when I allow myself the opportunity to do something different than I’ve ever done, go somewhere I’ve never gone, or even just do something out of my ordinary. I have made it my job to plan my vacations around eating healthy food, doing yoga somewhere new, being active, and experiencing something different than the typical traveler would experience. I also like to relax, unwind, beach, and enjoy a cocktail or two :)

When planning your next vacation, think about a place that offers hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, or fitness in the park.
If you’re booking a beach vacation, pack a pair of goggles so you can swim a few laps every day.
Look for yoga events, yoga on the beach, or yoga on a stand-up paddle board.
If you’re not near a beach, find a local state park, a cool place to hike, or even a local gym.

Regardless of where you go, there are always fun ways to keep yourself active, you’ve just got to look for them! 

veggie avocado bagel spread


In my opinion, there is no better gift that you can give yourself than feeding your body healthy, wholesome foods. The reason is obvious: You Are What You Eat.

The day I changed my eating habits, is the day my life changed. Don’t wait, start now.

Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Breakfast Quinoa w/Fruit & Almonds
Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Deviled Avocados
easy peasy Pea Hummus
a Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl
Curried Cauliflower Salad
Mushroom Caprese Salad
Stewed Tomatoes w/ Kale & Quinoa



The day I chose to change my lifestyle, start eating healthier, and to stop eating meat is the same day that I picked up books and started reading. Then I started following blogs, and I sought-out like-minded people. The day my boyfriend decided he wanted to be a pro triathlete is the day he subscribed to magazines and joined groups of like-minded people. 

Living a healthy lifestyle does not come naturally to everyone – and that’s ok. Before I knew what I know now, I didn’t know that I didn’t know it. I know what I know now because I sought out the information. I spend a few hours (minimum) every week reading blogs, books, and magazines that fall in line with the lifestyle that I want to live, that I am living. 

Here are a few blogs that I read regularly: Edible Perspective, HeartBeet Kitchen, Minimalist Baker, Free People Blog, YumUniverse, and Dirtbag Darling.

Designate a quiet night, get your pj’s on, snuggle under some blankets, and read. You’ll never regret taking the time to acquire knowledge, or at least I never have.


Cheers to  the New Year!
What is it that YOU do in order to stay healthy and happy?